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Distant shadows (incl Bonus CD)


Tomas Weiss / APK - Distant Shadows

- 2016 Edition incl. Bonus CD -


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"During the last decade, quality ambient music has found in the names of Anthony Paul Kerby and Tomas Weiss, two personalities of great depth who have, discreetly, given to this style a remarkable amount of work at the highest level; the first (APK) hidden behind several pseudonyms for his DataObscura label has been active since 2003, and the second (TW) known primarily from his collaborations with Mathias Grassow. Over the years both followed two separate paths in respect to form, but extremely close in intentions, searching and finding in their music romantic, contemplative, and introverted dimensions, and seeking for understanding in the nature around them. It was almost necessary that a collaboration between both followed. In "Distant Shadows" the ways of the two musicians converge at the peak of inspiration and what results is certainly something with the allure of a masterpiece.

The title track introduces us to the cold, gloomy, windswept panorama which we will face throughout the album, and which also is expressed by the wonderful photographs of the cover packaging. The quality of sound achieved is impressive, as well as the blending of the two musicians, so that it is impossible to separate Weiss from Kerby. What especially strikes the listener is the visual depth and textures that outlines in the mind a very concrete scenario of leaden skies, heavy clouds and north winds to which we trust the flow of our consciousness.

"Gathering Memories" develops slowly for eleven minutes passing through several moods: one of those fleeting spirals of tenderness and calmness, worthy of the best Harold Budd, are shown before disappearing in a dense foggy blanket through which we barely glimpse a synth that is icy and solemn. "Eternal Return", on the contrary, proceeds on a drone, a single immovable tapestry, the tension and drama of which are breathtaking. One may think that our relationship with a severe and hostile nature reaches a point of balance and peaceful coexistence, at least this is what "Everything Can be said", which dissolves in epic Roachian reverberations, makes us believe.

But, once again, it is a momentary illusion, a stage of exploration, because "Deep Time" clears out every trace of pale emotion. So we are swallowed by the cold, we wander without any sense of location, even the laws of gravity are abolished (do we ascend? do we fall?). Only the distant field recordings of "Figures on a dark background" set us free from this ephemeral state. Though nothing is the same as before. In "A final Vision" we turn to view a different landscape, designed by dark drone, in which only emptiness and despair are shown.

"Distant Shadows" is a long and complex work, with perfections and virtuosities but also deep abysmal suggestions - the result of the power of vision by two mature and passionate musicians." (Roberto Rizzo, Ondarock Magazin - Italy)

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"Tomas Weiss, creator of el culto, has teamed up with Anthony Paul Kerby, aka APK, to offer an album like very few others, in all the time I have been listening to Ambient music. This duet has left me astonished of their amazing handling of technology, which allows them to create soundscapes so beautiful, sometimes spatial, and sometimes very abstract. The point is that they manage to create an atmosphere deep enough to look at the stars, while knowing that the depth of outer space is infinite; this first production, called “Distant Shadows”, fascinated me from beginning to end because I think it perfectly encompasses the Ambient spirit and subtly embraces it. "Distants Shadows" offers to the listener a moment for contemplation, a journey through deep thoughts and a unique excuse to admire the things that keep the universe in order, but it requires a lot of attention, mental and auditory ability in order to understand the complex sound structures, and spiritual predisposition to navigate through the waters of the abyss.

I definitely consider this a gem of electronic music." (Doppelgänger, Viaje al Abismo - Spain)

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"With "Distant Shadows" Anthony Paul Kerby and Tomas Weiss have created a memorable listening experience perfect for late night enjoyment. Designed as a long form piece for continuous listening, "Distant Shadows" blends drifting pads and steady drones with subtle field recordings and found sounds, all coming together in an immersive musical environment that brings a rich and vivid imagery to mind. Bright tones twinkle and chime over a steady base layer of oblique motion, and drifting pads ebb and flow alongside the sound of waves heard on the edges of the soundscape. Delicate shifts happen slowly over the course of the album, subtle distinctions in tones gradually revealing themselves as tracks progress. Without a doubt, "Distant Shadows" is a perfect album for lying in the grass counting stars in the night sky, music to listen to during the languid heat of a Bradbury summer. Congratulations to Kerby and Weiss on a fabulous collaborative work!" (rik - ping things / USA)

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"Both, Anthony Paul Kerby and Tomas Weiss, are known as frequent collaborators with other musicians like Robert Davies or Mathias Grassow for example, but this is their first co-work and also premier release on new founded Construct label run by Anthony and Tomas (but both of them run also few other labels). I was immediately catched by the stunning images on the digipak's artwork (photographs by Anthony and by Jesse Harrison) and very soon I realized they fit perfectly the sonics as well as the title of the album. "Distant Shadows" album delivers trully immersive drifting soundworlds evoking remote and spacious landscapes surrounded by dense fog. It opens with shorter title track "Distant Shadows" that sets the drifting atmosphere for the rest of this expansive journey. "Gathering Memories" keeps its slow-motion floating, but it's nicely colored on the background by some organic and industrial field-recordings. Deep, dark and immense, definitely the first highlight! But it goes on, the pure beauty of minimal oriented textures fully unfolds on 13-minute long piece "Eternal Return", magnificent! Nice peaceful, but monumental moody soundwalls with environmental recordings continue on "Everything That Can Be Said". Dense "Deep Time" is gradiose too! "Figures On A Dark Background" is the most organic piece although it features some beautiful and evocative heavenly choirs and voices. As the title also suggests, this is the most mysterious contribution on "Distant Shadows". "A Final Vision" returns to more drifting mode with a hint of dramatic passages, nice finale!

"Distant Shadows" is delicate drone music and not only a deep listening experience, but also a highly relaxing one too!!! It's hard to exactly distinguish what Anthony and what Tomas brought to the table, but I don't care about this, because whatever it was, I liked it. Well done teamwork, Anthony & Tomas, and a very promising overture for Construct label!!!" (Richard Gürtler - Slovakia)

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"Canadian composer Anthony Paul Kerby (APK) has produces many ambient recordings under the names Lammergeyer, Nunc Stans, and The Circular Ruins. Sonic architect Tomas Weiss on the other hand has recorded under the monikers Nautic Depths and El Hadra, while he’s also known for his deep drone recordings with Mathias Grassow. The dark and rather gloomy landscape scenery on the cd-cover of "Distant Shadows" (the premier release on the new collaborative Construct label run by Tomas and Anthony) already gives an impression of the sonic content found here: an uninterrupted and deep journey into the vastness of remote and barren plains. Organic and minimal features surface in the slow morphing textural and environmental sceneries, while the profound sense of wide-open spaces and dark (but not freightening) powers slumbering deep in it never fails to impress. Fans of deep listening and extensive dark-flavoured ambient soundworlds will find lots of their liking here." (Sonic Immersion)