Review of Jasper Leyland 'Margin' album from Textura website:

Margin, the debut album by Jasper Leyland (aka Norwich-based Jonathan Brewster) features richly detailed drone explorations constructed from field elements, electronic, and acoustic elements. Though its five tracks are variously short and long, the album registers as an extended and accomplished whole despite the presence of transitions between pieces.

Created entirely from zither sounds, “Margin” immediately establishes the album's meditative-drone ambiance with its slowly developing mass of naturalistic rustles, plucks, and field noises, a prelude to the first epic “Riseholme.” At the outset, a piercing tone snakes through a dense bed of rustling haze and crackle, then recedes to let acoustic strums move to the forefront. The elements congeal into a restless droning mass of plucks and smears until, midway through, Brewster removes layers, exposing the wavering simmer of processed melodica, before elements again accumulate into a crackling mass. “Riseholme” demonstrates Brewster's skill at convincingly sustaining a work's delicate balance throughout a sixteen-minute duration. Though less epic, the central “Lapse” makes a strong impression by weaving glistening synth pulsations and staccato plucks into a cathedralesque mass. “Turned” is so brief as to seem incidental amidst the more ambitious pieces and is more notable for the manner of its construction, with some of its noises originating at a Norfolk beach where Brewster buried a microphone in pebbles and recorded the results. The electric guitar focus of the second extended piece, “Prospect,” calls Christopher Willits' work to mind, with Brewster transforming clicks and ripples into a meditative sunrise of bell tones.

Available in a mere 150-copy run, Margin impresses as a distinguished collection of subtly textured drone works, with Brewster proving himself a deft sculptor of organic and processed sounds.

Ron Schepper

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