018 The Boats 'Sleepy Insect Music'

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Cat.No: home n018/flau19
Release date: April 23rd, 2010
Edition number: 1000 (digipack)


Release description:
The Boats are of course the well known duo of Craig Tattersall and Andrew Hargreaves, now joined by Danny Norbury on cello, as well as Chris Stewart and Elaine Reynolds on vocals. Craig has previously recorded under Hood, the Archivist and The Remote Viewer, runs the Cotton Goods label and co-runs the excellent Moteer and Mobeer labels with Andrew Johnson. Andrew Hargreaves records as Beppu and co-runs the Lacies’ label with his partner, Alice. As The Boats they have released various works on Moteer, Our Small Ideas, Flau (‘Faulty Toned Radio’) and of course, Home Normal with ‘Words Are Something Else’. The newest member to The Boats as of 2009 is the very talented Danny Norbury. He regularly works with Library Tapes, as well as being one-half of the duo Le Lendemain (with David Wenngren aka Library Tapes), and he has also recorded solo projects for Ono, Static Caravan and last year’s wonderful Light In August release on Lacies’.

A little while after the release of ‘Words Are Something Else’, Andrew, Craig, Danny and myself came together to talk about playing some shows both in the UK, as well as a tour in Japan. It just felt like a nice natural progression really as they are rarely known to play many live shows, and to get them to come to Japan meant a lot to both them and I. What culminated was the great Home Normal night in December (2009) at Café Oto in London, with Danny Norbury and The Boats headlining a very special event indeed. As we met up for the first time in person then, we confirmed how much we wanted to organise the Japan tour and so pushed on with the aid of our mutual friends Yasuhiko Fukuzono (aka Aus) and Masami Shimomura (p*dis).

During the various meetings, phone calls and emails back and forth, we decided that it would be a perfect time to release something of an ‘unknown’ overview of where The Boats are at and what they have done over the years. Yasuhiko Fukuzono (who also runs Flau) and I decided that it would be entirely appropriate to do a one-off collaborative release between Home Normal and Flau, as we are such closely tied labels, mutual friends with The Boats, and as a way of coming together for an album release to tie in with our combined Boats and Danny Norbury Japan tour in May of this year. The result of all this is Sleepy Insect Music, a compilation of unreleased or very limited edition works on compilations and Our Small Ideas, an unreleased remix and reworking of previously released work (‘raindrops’). As such it is an essential collection of work for Boats fans and new listeners alike, a wonderful summary of who The Boats are, or the perfect introduction, however you want to view it.

The Boats are: Craig Tattersall and Andrew Hargreaves
With Danny Norbury (Cello on 2, 4, 8, 11, 15) Chris Stewart (Vocals 2, 8, 15)
Elaine Reynolds (Vocals 7)
Remixing: Nive Nielsen (12)

Recorded and Mixed by The Boats at various times and places between 2003-2010
Mastered by Miles Whittaker
Compiled from The Boats Archive Drawer by Theodore and Hamblin

1, 15 Originally appeared o the Our Small Ideas EP ‘Stenography’
5 Originally appeared on the Flau Compilation ‘Little Things’
9, 10, 13 Originally appeared on the Our Small Idea EP ‘Saturation, Hum and Hiss’
11 Originally appeared on the [parvoart] recordings compilation ‘[parvo] art’
12 An unreleased remix of Nive (http://www.myspace.com/nivenielsen)

1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 13, 14, 16 Written by Hargreaves/Tattersall
2, 8, 15 Written by Hargreaves/Tattersall/Norbury
12 Written by Nive Nielsen

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Adam Williams – Fluid Radio
Following the release of the wonderful Words Are Something Else and while preparing for a series of live shows in the UK and Japan, Craig Tattersall and Andrew Hargreaves decided to compile an overview of unreleased and rare Boats material. The result is Sleepy Insect Music, a sixteen track compilation of material recorded between 2003 – 2010…

Opening with a laid back track peppered with slow moving subtle tones, Sleepy Insect Music then goes on to cover a whole spectrum of material. Chris Stewart and Elaine Reynolds join the duo on vocal duties, giving contrast to the moody instrumentals and beat driven ambience. Danny Norbury of Le Lendemain also makes an appearance on cello, his mournful strings adding yet another dimension to this release.

The tracks hold the listeners interest with inventive beats, complemented by a wide array of instruments and breathtaking vocals. Always unhurried, the tracks retain a feeling of space, with notes ringing out and echoing. Where other performers might content themselves with one stylistic idea per track, Tattersall and Hargreaves eclectic songwriting technique is enthralling and leaves one wanting to spend time exploring the tracks fully, each sitting revealing something more to enjoy.

It’s difficult to mix such disparate ideas, and compilations often suffer from a lack of cohesion, but Sleepy Insect Music has been compiled with great care and attention. Working with restraint, the duos songwriting instincts are inspired and when put together, the tracks feel like one body of work. Highlighting the many changes in direction and style by The Boats, Sleepy Insect Music is a well executed compilation of impressive scope and variety which will continue to hold the listeners interest over time.

Norman Records – Recommendation
This is a collection of tracks culled from recordings made between 2003 and 2010 and have appeared on various compilations EP’s etc. Craig Tattersall and Andrew Hargreaves’ The Boats project has been somewhat expanded at various points along the way as here they are joined by Danny Norbury playing cello and also vocal contributions from Chris Stewart and Elaine Reynolds. As you’d expect from these chaps this is utterly sublime, delicate, extremely well crafted and beautiful music that’s both electronic and organic. Will serve as a great introduction to The Boats for any new listener or a fine addition to the collection of those that are familiar. There is also a previously unreleased remix of Nive’s track ‘Louise’ which is super lovely.

Boomkat – Album of the Week
A special, one-off collaborative release from the Home Normal and Flau labels, Sleepy Insect Music was conceived as an accompaniment to The Boats’ tour of Japan, scheduled for May. The album spans the band’s entire career, collecting unreleased tracks or hard-to-find recordings that have only cropped up on compilations or highly limited Our Small Ideas releases. The resultant hour’s worth of music turns out to be a brilliantly compiled trawl through The Boats’ hidden catalogue, sequencing early compositions like ‘Birthdays’ and ‘I Did Not Sleep So Soundly’ (both from 2003) alongside wonderful contemporary works. The likes of ‘Understand’ and the freshly reworked ‘Raindrops’ offer magical, otherworldly takes on the conventions of song-craft – the pattering, crackle-laden beats and eroded, lo-fi electronics finding welcome embellishment from Danny Norbury’s weeping cello strokes and Chris Stewart’s muffled, lowercase vocal. In addition to The Boats’ own originals, an unreleased remix of the Nive song ‘Louise’ is thrown in. Instantly, the band seem to make the song their own, casting the Greenlandic songstress’ vocal into a familiarly warm, glitching production. The already-heard entries are sourced from compilations for Flau and [parvo] art or are cuts lifted from the Stenography and Saturation, Hum And Hiss EPs. All are well worth returning to, although only the most obsessive followers of the group are likely to have the lot already – either way they’re all welcome inclusion on this disc. There’s abundant exclusive content here to make Sleepy Insect Music an essential addition to The Boats catalogue, and furthermore, those newer recordings featuring the freshly recruited Danny Norbury (‘Veleta Two Step’ and ‘George Herbert Leigh Mallory’ would be two more examples) hint to a great future for the group.

P*Dis / Inpartmaint – A Staff Monthly Recommendation
ノスタルジックな素敵電子音楽で大人気の英国エレクトロニカデュオThe Boats、初のレアトラック集リリース!

人気レーベルflauとhome normalの初共同リリースは、元Hood、The Remote ViewerのCraig TattersalとAndrew Hargreavesによるエレクトロニカ・デュオThe Boatsのレアトラック集!現在は入手困難となっているThe Boats自身のレーベルour small ideasからのEPや、コンピレーション収録曲、リミックス等、The Boatsの真骨頂ともいえるデリケートな電子音と生楽器の暖かな構築美、そして叙情的なメロディーが見事に表現された楽曲の数々が収録されています。ゲ ストミュージシャンには、Nancy ElizabethやLibrary Tapesなどの名脇役として大活躍中のチェロ奏者Danny Norbury、moteerレーベルの盟友need more sourcesことChris Stewart、そしてThe Boatsの名作1stやthe sea名義のアルバムにも参加している美しい歌声のElaine Reinoldsが参加。The Boatsの1stと2ndアルバムに近い、メランコリックでノスタルジックなサウンドです。