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Alistair Crosbie – Music For Shipwrecks

Alistair Crosbie - Music For Shipwrecks

CD-R, Afe Records, 2008

There probably is no coincidence in the fact that a lot of Scottish musicians I come across produce sparse bleak ambience above all else; Scotland is a vast, cold, bleak but beautiful place with plenty of opportunities to hike into the middle of nowhere and be alone with your thoughts to pretty much the backdrop of, well, nothing really. I love the place.
After numerous outings and occasional collaborators “Music For Shipwrecks” pretty much sums up the feeling of standing at the edge of the sea, a lighthouse above you, watching out for sinking vessels in cold misty waters.
Crosbie’s main instrument is apparently the guitar, which he uses with a rich droning effect if this is the case on this release; there is this vast sense of cavernous space that, whilst being fresh and cold, has this overwhelming sense of abandonment. It is far from overbearing, almost more down the path of ‘that’s life’ rather than leaving the listener oppressed, and you could almost just shrug your shoulders and sigh.
Clocking in at just over 41 minutes over four tracks, this album concentrates on the path of a ship as it heads towards its watery fate; from the call of the siren the sailors stumble to their grave with the salty depths smothering them. The ship over time turns to rust and their story remains to be told to future generations. Everyone likes a good story.
I really do like “Music For Shipwrecks”. I am a great listener of ambient music and it’s nice to hear someone again just hitting it from a different angle. This release would most likely have a lot in common with a lot of the Nautilus releases thematically, and I am pretty much sure a lot of fans of The [Law-Rah] Collective wouldn’t feel caught short of change if they dipped into their pockets for this one either.


— Tony Young

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