Following on from their critically acclaimed debut album In The Cell Of Dreams, the second album from Shackleton / Zimpel represents the culmination of the ecstatic trance urge that has underlined both artists’ work since they embarked on their singular yet somehow parallel paths.
The duo, consisting of electronic music maverick Sam Shackleton and visionary avant folk virtuoso Wacław Zimpel, sees them link up with one of Indian Classical music’s greatest emerging young vocal talents, Siddhartha Belmannu, to bring an album which is equal parts both a meditative exercise and an urge to transcendence whilst thematising both the acceptance of our mortality and the joyous celebration of living.
The artists’ intention behind the album was to make a piece of work that was beautiful, deep and moving and which engages with the listener in a direct and honest way. Avant and forward looking music which doesn’t rely on cynical gestures to keep attention or enhance its artistic credentials. Put more simply, it is intended to go straight to the heart.
There was never any intention to cut down the length of the pieces. The musicians don’t want to patronise the audience by giving more easily digestible song lengths and in the same way they are unapologetic about the themes. They believe in the music and believe in the audience. Naive it might be in the face of modern realities but this album can almost be regarded as being the antithesis of the instant gratification and cut-throat commercialism of the 21st century. It is light and shadow, nuance, sadness, elation and the whole range in between. Ultimately, if the whole album could be reduced to one overarching essence, it is intended to be beautiful.