After three releases on Rise Above Records all went quiet from Diagonal. But out of nowhere, seven years after recording 2012’s The Second Mechanism the group gathered for new sessions. With no expectations or preparation after just a week in the studio, the group emerged with the basis for a new album.
Arc is their most organic sounding effort to date. Noticeable changes have been made to the sound, with an increased presence of both vocals and acoustic instrumentation. Track ‘Stars Below’sees the band explore their interests in jazz tinged folk, whereas ‘The Vital’ ends up somewhere in orbit around Talk Talk’s later work or an ECM recording. In contrast the tracks ‘The Spectrum Explodes’ and ‘9-Green’ boast tight grooves that shift and break as synths, sax and distorted guitar come to the fore.
The band’s myriad musical influences have led to music that draws from different genres and eras, blurring the timelines in the process. Those seeking an album in which to immerse themselves will find reward here.
Alex Crispin – Organ, Electric Piano, Vocals Luke Foster – Drums, Percussion Ross Hossack – Synthesiser Daniel Pomlett – Bass Nicholas Whittaker – Alto & Soprano Saxophone, Vocals David Wileman – Acoustic & Electric Guitars Recorded and Produced by Alex Crispin
Open Submission / Ohko / Pharoah / Rosewater / Cleater / St. Stephens
“As the follow-up to his deep, emotional ‘Idle Worship’ release on Sounds of the Dawn, Alex Crispin’s Open Submission, with the title track streaming below, is a masterful stroke of restrained ambient guitar and synths. The tune submerses you in its washed out, melancholy atmosphere. I want to be here all the time, let me tell you!” – Tiny Mix Tapes
“As most nu-new age musicians, Alex Crispin is not married to his new age prodecessors aesthetics or closed loop comidifcation of spirituality. His compositions, especially on “Rosewater” are big-hearted works that utilze elements of ambient music and drone to create transportive set-pieces and aural soundscapes that don’t require that you exit through the gift shop.” – Tome to the Weather Machine
Original Soundtrack to the game ‘Escape the Dark Castle’ published by Themeborne.
Freedom is Death / Endless Dark / Cult Procession / The Hell Tower / Buried Alive / Your Journey Ends Here
“Eerie drones and ambient sounds, make you instantly aware of the dark, damp dungeon around you. The threat is looming and intensely oppressing as the first song starts. Dark, long tracks, like ‘Endless Dark’ and ‘Cult Procession’ imbibe your experience with the inescapability of the situation you find yourself in. Trapped in the prison with only one thing left to do: to escape. With this soundtrack, you absolutely know how thrilling a game can be if the vibe and story are right.”– Stranger Aeons
Recorded & Produced by Alex Crispin: Casio CZ-1000, Casio SK-200, Effects, Dungeon Noises
Tom Pike: Dungeon Noises
In Constant Soul / Guide Blind / Green Ember / Idle Worship / Canopy Dance / High Vibration / Fortress (Flying)
“Glittering, glowing, hand-tooled indie new age music from high realms. UK composer Alex Crispin’s debut solo album is assured and sophisticated, effortlessly morphing through different melodic shapes and ever-hovering clouds of beautiful chords. If you’re curious about the spirit of early DIY new age and its recent rehabilitation via labels like Sounds of the Dawn, Idle Worship is an ideal place to start.” – Ambient Music Guide – Best Albums of 2017
“Based on the tape’s title, I was pleasantly surprised to find Alex Crispin’s Idle Worship to be a beautiful drone album. The album begins with minute synthesiser melodies over a breezy soft pad sweep of chords. Calming, soft, and charming. This is some really special high fidelity new age music. I can feel the warm summer breezes and ideal locations. I lose myself completely. This is definitely something you can relax to. A storm of overtone melodies softly permeates throughout. There is some thoughtful piano work on this album. A while into the second side, hand drums make an appearance. The final track is a fantastic; evocative of Philip Glass’ Einstein on the Beach with rapid fire arpeggios, guitar, and layers upon layers of keyboards.” – Cassette Gods
“Discovering a brilliant ambient dimension while escorted by glowing ethereal companions. Nothing but peacefulness and contentment. Idle Worship bubbles notes from keyboard and strings so naturally, like the Selterswasser spring in the German Taunus mountains. Both possessing organic and unrefined aspects. This composition nears the hour mark floating on skilled creativity.” – Lost In a Sea of Sound
Recorded & Produced by Alex Crispin: Fender Rhodes Electric Piano, Acoustic Piano, Casio C1000p, Casio SK-200, Akai AX60, 12-String Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar & Percussion
Mastered by Erik Maluchnik
Released by Sounds of the Dawn
Mixing unreleased takes from the original multitrack tapes for cult Finnish jazz record ‘Labyrinth’, reissued on Svart Records.
“For this heavy duty reissue of Koivistoinen’s 1977 album we went back to the original multitrack tapes and discovered a heap of alternate takes that were left unmixed at the time. Koivistoinen selected the best and most interesting alternate versions of each track and a new, fresh mix was prepared specifically for this release.”
A1. Stress (6:05) A2. Honky Tonky (2:56) A3. Aarabeski (7:38) A4. Spring Song (5:15) B1. Labyrinth part I (4:02) B2. Labyrinth part II (2:46) B3. Labyrinth part III (5:23) B4. Yksi Ruusu On Kasvanut Laaksossa (7:43)
C1. Stress (6:07) take 1 – master C2. Honky Tonky (3:03) take 2 – alternate C3. Aarabeski (7:32) take 1 – alternate C4. Spring Song (5:08) take 4 – alternate D1. Labyrinth part I (5:05) take 1 – alternate D2. Labyrinth part II (2:42) take 1 – alternate (without overdubbed second saxophone) D3. Labyrinth part III (5:31) take 1 – alternate D4. Yksi Ruusu On Kasvanut Laaksossa (7:31) take 2 – alternate
E1. Meat & Potatoes (5:28) – take 1
F1. Meat & Potatoes (4:59) – take 3