Spring In A Small Town is the new project of British musician, sound artist and producer George Cloke (Team Morale). The moniker alludes to “the fleeting snapshots of beauty, insularity and contented loneliness that characterise provincial life”, whilst also referencing Fei Mu’s 1948 drama of the same name.”
According to the press release, the project is a sonic celebration of the chronologies, histories and memories embedded within the ancient woodland and provincial villages of Kent. The sound is inspired by acts as Wunder, Jon Hopkins, Manitoba and Gold Panda. He announced the release of the self-titled debut album which will be out on May 15th via FLAU.
“Compassion” is a new track which shows the refined and persistent beats, the well-built, infectious rhythms which meet the ethereal ambient textures and the virtuous, melodic aesthetic. Listen below and check a short playlist which features five songs which inspired the new album. Pre-order here.
Wunder – “How We Are”. ‘Wunder’ is an understated, late 90s masterpiece from Jörg Follert. Weaving textured electronics into emotive songwriting, this is something of a mission statement for my own output, though my efforts are far less cohesive, elegant and enchanting. Taking elements from jazz, dub, pop, folk and techno, songs like “How Are We” overflow with ideas but are crafted with such finesse that they never feels chaotic or messy. Experimental storytelling at it’s best. Wunderful, you could say.
Kate Carr – “Skagi Peninsular”. Blurring the boundaries between musical composition and field recording, Kate’s work has inspired me for a long time. The desolate sounds of the wind, faint drizzle and lone bird calls are heightened by the minimal plucks of the langspil, a traditional Icelandic instrument. She simultaneously documents the landscape whilst plainly appreciating that this is a subjective, personal response to a particular environment. In part, my record is a response to how rural English communities are shaped and reformed through a misremembering of an idealised past, and I’ve found Carr’s questioning of personal and collective memory incredibly insightful.
Lim Giong – “Taiwanese Folk Song”. Lim is a real hero of mine. His output ranges from traditional Taiwanese folk to minimalist techno to schmaltzy ballads, sometimes all within the same song. His early albums thread politicallycharged lyrics into soft-pop melodies, whilst his ghostly score for Jia Zhangke’s film Still Life highlights the plight of communities residing within the flooded Three Gorges. On Summer Rain, the way he merges field recordings, 90s breakbeat and Taiwanese folk together is so tactile and engaging- even if it sounds a bit like a karaoke backing track. He’s unafraid to mix genre and instrumentation, an approach which I find hugely inspirational.
Lomelda – “New Age Lines”. I’ve never felt comfortable calling myself an electronic musician. I don’t use synths and I’m not tech-savvy enough to make clean cut house bangers. Instead, I take a lot of inspiration from the bedroom folk scene, where every floorboard creak and microphone hiss adds to a sense of faded, homespun charm. Lomelda is one such artist, although she’s undeniably a superstar now and probably records in another room of the house (sell out). On the sublime “New Age Lines”, she paints intimate portraits of everyday life, delivered with such tenderness and grace so as to pause the world. Her ability to extrapolate magic from the mundane is masterful, and its something I’ve endeavoured to replicate on my record.