IAN WILLIAMS – ‘Slow-Motion Apocalypse’ – new album by London-based electronic musician out 03.11.23.
The new album by London-based musician/composer Ian Williams marks an abrupt handbrake turn away from the minimalism of his previous release, ‘All Becomes Desert’ .
Rather, ‘Slow-Motion Apocalypse’ is all about impact; the epic devastation of a civilisation hell-bent on cutting off its own life-support systems and a furious elegy for the headlong rush to exhaust the planet’s precious resources to enrich a handful of unvisionaries whose main preoccupation seems to be going to Mars, or buying footballers…because that will definitely help.
“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence” – Charles Bukowski
Think of the music itself as a rant, a protest against the beige-ness of the current vogue for music as a tranquilliser for the masses. This is not music to meditate to and it doesn’t provide a safe space for the expression of warm and fuzzy feelings. Instead, it rages. Hybrid electronic-orchestral sculptures carved in the sides of mountains, with gigantic avalanches of rhythm pulled along by an interlocking delirium of melody and noise.
Ah, melody…it is the one ideal held sacrosanct here – imagine Aphex Twin mutating into Carmina Burana via a spaghetti western detour, as heard in ‘After We’re Gone’, or ‘Magenta’ with its spaced-out dub as a spy theme floats by, or ‘Chronopolis’ with its skyscrapers full of colossal piano chords to soundtrack the novel Ballard never got around to filming. After all, we might as well enjoy the dying light at the end of the world – what else can we do?
The album also includes Williams’ current single, ‘The Light At The End Of The World’. An intoxicating mixture of bubbling sequencers, tribal beats and soaring synths, it has a gorgeous ethereal vocal melody and sounds like a Tangerine Vangelis, while it is accompanied by an interdimensional video shot somewhere between the Orion Nebula and Margate.
1 The Long Drift
4 After We’re Gone
6 Girl With The Thunderbolt Kick
7 If You Had Only One Bullet
8 The Light At The End Of The World
Ian Williams began his music career in Edinburgh in the mid 1980s as a founder of Beautiful Pea Green Boat, whose ethereal, atmospheric sound pre-dated the vogue for dream pop by at least twenty years. Several collaborations with Lebanese choreographer Joumana Mourad and her contemporary dance company Ijad saw him fuse Arabic/classical/techno/ambient styles, following which he changed tack to work with singer Claudia Barton as Gamine, releasing two albums of dark, piano-led torch songs and lullabies.