Janet Records / Die Stadt present
"Here Is Where We Used To Sing"
Limited Edition includes extra CD "Three Beams" (JRDS004b)
(remixes by William Basinski, Colin Potter and Michael Begg)
Worldwide Release Date 18th April 2011
Fovea Hex are one of the most intriguing phenomena in contemporary music. Despite the seemingly wilful nonchalance that has kept them under the radar so far (only 3 ep releases in 5 years, a mere fistful of appearances in France, Spain, Italy and Ireland, and their preference for elliptical, minimal design) the group have nevertheless developed an enviable cult status both in Europe and the United States, have performed at the personal invitation of David Lynch in the gardens of the Cartier Foundation in Paris and have attracted the free and willing participation of a genre and generation hopping rollcall of A-list luminaries including Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, Carter Burwell, Donal Lunny, and Steven Wilson, as well as a who's who of the electronic avant-garde including Roger Doyle, the Hafler Trio, Colin Potter and Michael Begg.
Clodagh Simonds, the group's reclusive leader (if they can be called a group, and indeed, if she can be called a leader) has recently emerged to announce the eagerly anticipated first full-length album from Fovea Hex, Here Is Where We Used To Sing, which will be released on CD and digital formats on April 18th 2011.
The album comprises 8 beautifully crafted songs and 3 short instrumentals that build on the fusion of formal composition, cutting edge ambient sound art, incomparable song writing skill, and Simonds's emotionally rich and evocative vocals ("A voice that one could happily drown in for hours" remarked Pitchfork) that made their ep trilogy, Neither Speak Nor Remain Silent, so extraordinary.
These "songs that don't go where you think" are immediately seductive, inhabiting a curiously elusive, many-layered otherworld. They manage to sound both powerful and delicate, sophisticated and elemental, resonating with an understated emotional intensity so rare these days that it comes slightly as a shock. The balancing act is fragile, and nothing is quite what it seems, yet the group themselves are unlikely to explain their methods or reasons. That task falls to fans and friends such as Matmos's Drew Daniels: "The starlit nocturnes of Fovea Hex bind electronics, drones and voices into song spells. Their intimacy and raw emotional power feel centuries old, but the experimental sound design can be shockingly modern. There is an intense focus to this music no clutter, no cliches which is both ravishing and rare"
Simonds has gathered about her a now familiar troupe of collaborators for this album. A core ensemble of Simonds (vocals, keyboards, harmonium, psaltery, lyre, kalimba), Laura Sheeran (vocals, saw), Cora Venus Lunny (violin, viola), Michael Begg (electronics, keyboards) and Colin Potter (electronics) are variously joined, replaced, augmented and superimposed by visitations from Brian Eno, Julia Kent (of Antony and the Johnsons), John Contreras, Kate Ellis, members of Italy's Larsen, and, in keeping with the mystery that seems to veil the heart of the enterprise, further "friends who would prefer to remain nameless." True to their oblique nature, they even manage to credit an abstract contribution to the 10,000 year project; The Long Now Foundation (http://longnow.org/)
"Three Beams", a limited edition bonus disk of 3 extended remixes allows full and free rein to the palette of ambient / experimental electronica at Fovea Hex's disposal. Works by Colin Potter, Michael Begg and William Basinski perfectly counterpoint the highly crafted songs on the album with generously proportioned and sonically mesmerizing soundscapes.
One has to wonder how Simonds really feels now that the appearance of this singular album seems likely to tear apart forever the fabric of anonymity in which this extraordinary ensemble has until now been concealed.