Murray Royston-Ward: Dissolution Matrix in Afterthought of Skies


The House Organ CD-r and digital

“Here’s something I’ve been sitting on for a while.” That was the message accompanying this collection of scruffy, welcoming improvisations from Murray Royston-Ward when the CD-r popped through my letterbox back in January. Well, its been sitting on my listening pile for a fair time too, with regular spins on on the WNNS hi-fi only emphasising its enduring appeal. And while Royston-Ward’s aesthetic sits squarely within the no-audience underground palette of abstract scrapes and splutters, the airy openness of the six tracks on offer here give listeners plenty to get their brains round. Royston-Ward’s ability to alchemise a familiar mix of field recordings, object clatter and free improvisation into something beguiling and intimate¬† is a pleasure to behold – witness the wibbles and mutters of ‘Images In Hair’, evoking a mellow afternoon sharing tea and smokes with visiting aliens. But my favourite moments are when Royston-Ward languidly picks apart avant-rock forms, as on cuts like ‘Waterpark’. The slow clang of detuned guitar and meandering, zero-gravity bass hint at the sprawl of Jim O’Rourke-era Sonic Youth, but with the arty opacity of those records switched out for beatific drift that repays attention with maximum wiry reward. Thurston – give Murray a call. He’ll get your career back on track.



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