Ensemble 1 waste no time running circles around you with the hypnotic experimental soundscapes of their sophomore album Delay Works — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
Written between 2017 and 2019, the three epic-length tracks on this 38-minute release make extensive use of digital delay technology to create large monolithic sound sculptures consisting of simple geometrical structures, cyclical processes and phrase displacement techniques. The Brighton duo of guitarist Joe Potts and drummer / bassist Tom Way draw heavily upon the influence of minimalist composition, nodding to the work of Steve Reich and Philip Glass, as well as secondary influences such as James Tenney, John Luther Adams, Glenn Branca, Ingram Marshall, Battles, Don Cabellero and Tool.
This album also showcases Ensemble 1’s first foray into live performance, in that the music presented here was the first material performed by the group in a live setting. They have since moved onto a new musical focus, meaning this album can be interpreted as a culmination and final document of the early public period of the group’s activity.
The opening track Distorted Fades is built from a basic musical phrase being displaced against itself in a series of rhythmical changes, and employs timbral variations and dynamic swells alongside various techniques such as pick scrapes, amplified cymbals and palm mute/open string alternations to create structure. Drums & Delay Loops utilizes similar rhythmical process ideas as well as drumming rudiments applied to the guitar, melodic alterations and long-form register traversal.
The album closes with Submerged Harmonics, a solo work written for bass guitar which consists of material originally used in Guitar, Bass & Drums II on the debut album and is completely reworked for this context through extensive use of slow frequency adjustments and timbral variations spread over a long-form structure, as well as the recurrent phrase displacement techniques and cyclical processes employed throughout the album.