Richard Skelton is a British composer and sound artist, better known for the project The Inward Circles. A few months after LASTGLACIALMAXIMUM, he has released a new album. These Charms May Be Sung Over a Wound is out now via Panthom Limb. Check the full streaming below.
With new album These Charms May Be Sung Over A Wound, Skelton has abandoned his usual acoustic instrumentation to map out a new territory of buzzing sine tones and square waves, immersed in shimmering clouds of distortion and suspended over landscapes of thrumming bass. The result is a new and transcendental experience: while the key themes of his music remain – stark and lonely geographies, ancient myths buried deep within the land, slow-moving glacial evolution – we are transported to a darker and more mechanical place. The intensity and sound design here are more akin to quasi-industrial, abandoned-factory sonics than to earthy, organic tones of earlier Richard Skelton albums.
As is usual for Skelton, These Charms May Be Sung Over A Wound was produced in rural isolation, intricately and indelibly bound to its local geography; in this case, the low, broad valleys of the Scottish Borders. The album and track titles come from 19th-century translations of Anglo-Saxon ‘leechdoms’ – ancient medicinal remedies, some of which required the recitation of charms to aid the efficacy of the cure. In times of increasing societal anxiety and paranoia these recordings are auditory charms: spells for the annulment of fear, incantations against the darkness.