Vanishing is the new album by Gareth Smith. Borne from the Islington Mill Arts Studios and featuring collaborations and contributions by members of Gnod, LoneLady and an array of other experimental musicians, it is the sound of blunted beats, stripped electronics and flares of melody, which coruscate around a deep emotional centre; words, that address a world, shifting, breaking, Vanishing.
Paddy Shine of Gnod is the most consistent contributor to Vanishing’s stark sound world, offering unused materials from his archives that were re-contextualised and carefully re-scored into the foundation of differing atmospheres chronicled on the albums 8 tracks. The original sources have been carefully re-contextualised, offering at times minimal tenderness, at times beautifully orchestrated passages, arranged and structured by Smith, to fit around his impassioned prose.
It is a prose that addresses a complex identity, both beautiful and brutalised, working through a plethora of difficult themes ranging from isolation, claustrophobia, social and political disenfranchisement. ‘As the recording process developed I realised I had created a musical platform to pursue the lyrical content to its fullest. This is the latest statement of my lifetimes work.’
Fitting right into the instantly identifiable heart of the Tombed Visions aesthetic, the album features a stunning, customised gatefold artwork printed on 300gsm recycled paper by Lewis McLean.
"One for those of you who hate dark ambient and everything that goes with it and maybe everything in the world: this record is made terrifying by Gareth Smith, known in his musical ghost form as Vanishing, plus a roster of guests of vampiric psychedelia from Paddy Shine (your boy of Gnod) and the excellent LoneLady. Get ready for noise to meet neo-classical to meet drone to meet random archival sounds as Smith disassembles the idea of soundscape.
For those who love Gnod, Paddy Shine’s contributions to this record are pretty remarkable: he’s taken old, stowed-away sounds of his past and re-contextualised them for Smith to intone his spoken word over, bringing anything from these samples to sax and programmed beats into the mix. Smith’s languishing synths and varying character performances make for a listen that’s either terrifyingly wide open or suffocatingly claustrophobic, the industrial-sized drone bursts of “The Forger” and Darren Kaskie’s dooming piano sounding like a death sentence in an empty landscape. The record ends up lying somewhere between the ominous soundscapes of certain Gnod records and the prickly mutterings of Einsturzende Neubauten. No doubt it barks up many of your trees."
- Robin, Norman Records
"Tombed visions newest beautifully crafted outing comes in the form of 'Vanishing', featuring Paddy Shine of Gnod fame and a host of talented and likeminded drone soldiers. 'Brighton' presents a softly spoken northern monologue draped liberally over a dark backdrop of chamber classical strings, gothic organ swells and earth-shaking percussion. Presented like dark ambient, but showing the grace of classical music and the melodic intonations of soaring post-rock buried under a shroud of gloom. As we move into 'Night Vision', the pensive vocal flourishes turn quickly into beastlike distorted whispering, while the percussion steps up a notch into syncopated distorted mayhem, gating airy swells and cavernous basses into an amalgamation of industrial and electronic influence.
Moving further along and 'The Forger' is once again led by a bleak spoken monologue, but the backing has progressed into an echoic chamber of lengthy plate verbs applied to squeaks of noise and what sounds like train sounds, all underpinned by a heartfelt but shadowy piano refrain. 'Bronze Misnomer' threatens to break into full electronic meltown at any point, with droning feedback and Paddy's free-jazz sax noodlings providing relief to the stark electronic backbone.
It really is brilliant this one, it takes time to devlop and it demands your attention, turning from a noisy drone into a nuanced and impeccable ambient masterstroke with repeated listens. Bleak, bold and stunningly beautiful.
Barry says: Gloomy dystopian futurism and industrial rhythms, juxtaposed with striking classical instrumentation and beautifully visceral spoken word segments. It's drone for the uninitiated, classical for people who love a story. Brilliantly immersive and hypnotic, a winner."
- Piccadilly Records
"One of their strongest, widest appealing releases to date: Tombed Visions unleash the sepulchral invocations of Gareth Smith’s Vanishing - featuring members of Gnod and LoneLady concocting a proper midnight trip into scorched industrial scapes, given gravity and pathos by Smith’s impending, politicised lyrics. RIYL Ike Yard, Gnod, Einstürzende Neubauten"
released March 31, 2017
Gareth Smith – vocals, synths, piano, percussion
Paddy Shine – beats, samples, piano, spring reverb, synth, saxophone, guitar
Elizabeth Preston – cello on track 1
Julie Campbell – cello on track 3
Alex Macarte – additional synth on track 3
Darren Kaskie – piano on track 4
Karl Sveinsson – additional guitar on track 8
all tracks recorded and mixed by Vanishing
and Karl Sveinsson at Queens Ark
mastered by Danny Saul
graphic design by Lewis McLean
Tombed Visions is a Manchester based cassette label specialising in sound art, ambient music, experimental electronics and
improvisation and aims to showcase the fringes of contemporary independent music. All releases are limited edition and packaged with care, combining a love of graphic design, photography, typography with the wondrous sounds released....more