Apollo are delighted to welcome the return of Australia duo Albrecht La’Brooy AKA Sean La'Brooy and Alex Albrecht with their blissful new album 'Healesville' recorded in a mud-brick hut on a strawberry crop in the Melbourne countryside.
'Healesville' follows on from the bucolic wonder of their Apollo debut 'Tidal River' which took inspiration from the duo's visit to the beautiful Wilson's Promontory (a remote national park on the South East coast of Australia).
"Late last year, we trekked out to a beautiful mud-brick studio located next to a large strawberry crop in Healesville," Albrecht explains. "We spent a few days capturing the feeling of the slow-paced, relaxed surrounds: The wildlife, the strawberry pickers, the sounds of the night, and improvising a response to them with music we felt suited."
Setting up their favoured musical equipment, which included two pianos, a Waldorf, a Nord and a clutch of microphones the long-form improvisations began.
"The physical construct of the hut imparted a warm and acoustically interesting environment to record in," Alex explains. "It also allowed us to be as close to the strawberry crop itself - we positioned a mic out the window to capture the recordings of the sound outside. During one of the sessions, a harvest was taking place, and you can hear tractors passing and workers talking and laughing in the recording.
The resulting drowsy pieces were completely improvised (augmented by percussionist Joseph Batrouney, guitarist Carla Oliver (Badskin) and guitarist Oliver Patterson), freeform recordings that explores themes of relaxation, sleep and dreams; somnambulant piano figures are caressed with delicate guitar passages bathed in the bucolic field recordings of the Healesville environs.
Recording the album proved to be as relaxing and civilised a process as listening to it: "We cooked nice dinners, enjoyed good wines, and took plenty of walks through the landscape to break up the sessions," Alex shares. The resulting record is one of quietly sozzled majesty - a delicate fusion of ambient electronic textures, live instrumentation and field recordings that beguiles and soothes the listener in these troubled times.
released July 26, 2019
Recorded live at Earth Mud Straw in Healesville by Alex Albrecht and Sean La'Brooy. Guitar by Oliver Paterson and Carla Oliver (Badskin), Percussion/FXs by Joseph Batrouney. Mastered by Corey Kikos. Thanks to Sabbine, Boomtown wines and the strawberry pickers in Healesville.
This is a ear-friendly suite of songs that moves from being overtly ambient in nature to something closer to EDM without ever losing its chilled, slightly blissed-out mood.
The sound is spacious and warm, although not quite as organic as it sounds. That said, sampled natural sounds are used judiciously throughout, alongside the electronic elements that predominate.
A easy, free flowing album but one that doesn't lack for sophistication or nuance. Give it a listen. Michael Mueller