‘Centres’ is the stunning new album from Vancouver-based vocalist / composer Ian William Craig.
A trained operatic vocalist who combines his voice with analogue synthesizers, reel-to-reel machines, and faulty tape decks to create sublime cascades of unpredictable decay and beauty, Ian William Craig‘s music engages with the operatic and orchestral, submerging them under a shifting palette of vocal improvisations, analogue tape hiss and billowing clouds of erasure.
Fundamentally distressed yet texturally lush, ‘Centres’ is an immensely deep, rich and rewarding listen. It was recorded in an assortment of studio and other locations across his Vancouver hometown – in concert halls and classrooms, train-yards and live rooms, as well as Craig’s own home – and created using a mixture of sources: synthesizer, Hammond organ, guitar, accordion, wire recorder, loop station, Craig’s array of re-purposed vintage reel-to-reels and an 18 deck “cassette choir”.
For Craig, this use of reel-to-reels has become both a way of decaying sentimentality, and a recurring metaphor. With work deeply informed by a narrative of impermanence, of “notions of life as an act of becoming, and beauty within degradation and deterioration”; Ian William Craig became fascinated with the notion of what the process of memory might physically sound like, placing his own body at the centre of this exploration to create sonic spaces that cast physical deterioration as the source of the sublime.
‘Centres‘ is a stunning album that stands with a unique sense of vision and integrity.
“The result is fittingly breathtaking, a singer destroying his own work, yet creating something more elegiac and profound in the process” – 5/5
“Taking Craig’s already distinctive, powerful sound to extremes, Centres is another truly remarkable work.” – 4.5/5
“”Listening to the music of Canadian singer and composer Ian William Craig is like watching a classic black-and-white movie slowly fade, decay and disintegrate”