The Grey Catalog

by K. Leimer

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    The Grey Catalog departs from Leimer’s typical obsessions with understatement and homogeneity to range freely across rhythmic, melodic, and disassembled forms. Incorporating percussion, electric guitar and bass as well as found sound, digital and analog synthesis and sampled instruments, The Grey Catalog spins off multiple intimations of some earlier works; particularly Closed System Potentials, The Neo-Realist (at Risk) and The Useless Lesson. Compiled over a two-year period, as diverse as the pieces are, they are also related by a shared generative technique and a shared library of voices and processing. The result is an album of highly personal music, restless and shifting forms, with melodic passages drawn over sets of self-regulating sources and shaped by approaches refined over decades of occasionally stumbling across something that might work.

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about

"A resplendent soundworld rich in keyboards, strings, guitar, bass, and electronics is presented throughout, and it quickly becomes apparent that describing Leimer's material as ambient proves to be a bit of a misnomer. Yes, the tempo is typically slow and the music far from frenetic, but the amplitude of sounds within a given arrangement makes for an always arresting listening experience, and the sonorous flow in a representative piece such as “Sift” is masterfully executed. And as “Absent Quarter” and “Halts” illustrate, the sensibility that comes through the tracks feels as much Eastern as Western, given the material's meditative bent and lulling rhythmic flow." – Textura

" Recently released on Leimer’s own imprint Palace of Lights, ‘The Grey Catalog’ encompasses an entire spectrum of enthralling sounds and textures; incorporating percussion, electric guitar, bass as well as found sound, digital and analog synthesis and sampled instruments. Album opener ‘Allegory’ gently fades into focus with gorgeous string passages reminiscent of the likes of Kranky’s Christina Vantzou and Leaf Label’s Murcof. Drifting tones of chimes and soft electronic pulses envelop the electronic balladry of ‘Ritual Thinning’. Elements of analog synths and bass are wonderfully incorporated into ‘Clasp’ before the drone soundscapes of ‘Gesture’ evokes ethereal and surreal dreamscapes of blissed-out sounds. One of the album’s defining moments arrives with the hypnotic ‘Sung’ built on a returning violin motif that is masterfully melded with piano and bass, in turn, creating an utterly transcendent electro-acoustic exploration. Field recordings and thudding percussion expands the dynamic range on ‘Poesie’, further highlighting the wonderful diversity on display throughout ‘The Grey Catalog’. Neo-classical elements are masterfully embedded in the cinematic cut ‘Europe’, whilst the proceeding ‘Casual Suffering’ – the album’s longest piece – further expands the sonic envelope with dense strings reminiscent of the Touch catalog. The stunning closer ‘At Remove’ feels a distant companion to the opening ‘Allegory’ with its scintillating strings that ebb and flow into the forefront of your heart’s mind." – Fractured Air

"It's always a pleasure to hear new music by K. Leimer, who has been creating ambient music since more than thirty years now. Since a few years, it seems, even more active than before. His new album, 'The Grey Catalog', was recorded with digital synthesis, electric guitar and bass, sampled sources, field recordings, percussion, prepared piano, treatments and signal processing, which seems like his more or less usual set-up. He received input from various other musicians including Greg Davis and Ron Schepper. Leimer has quite a unique voice when it comes to ambient music. His pieces are mostly short, somewhere between two and four minutes usually, some a bit longer, and he's not shy of using a distorted guitar or bass, such as in 'Europe'. The other thing he doesn't do, is just over a few layers of stretched out sounds and present that as 'ambient'. Leimer rather composes his pieces, deciding on objects and instruments to be used and as such, occasionally, sounds more modern classical than electronic. But he can, as easily, throw in an element, which sort of disrupts the tranquil space of a piece. An odd sound, a strange mover or mood, but that makes his music quite distinctive and different; and great actually. Leimer's music is not all about easy living room music, but one that requires attention (and hence perhaps is not 'ambient' per se?). It's all quite melodic and gorgeous stuff. An excellent release." – Vital Weekly

credits

released February 18, 2015

all pieces by k. leimer

k. leimer
digital synthesis, electric guitar and bass, sampled sources, field recordings, percussion, prepared piano, treatments and signal reprocessing

shirley gerrard
batterie on poésie

recorded at utility, maui, hawaii

initial mastering
greg davis, autumnmastering.com

CD mastering
taylor deupree, 12k mastering

thanks to
greg davis, taylor deupree, paul dickow, ron schepper and matthew werth.

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about

K. Leimer Makawao, Hawaii

K. Leimer established the independent experimental music label Palace of Lights in 1979. In addition to releasing his own work on PoL his music is also available on RVNG, Autumn and VOD. Wire Magazine named his album "A Period of Review" as one of the top ten retrospective releases of the past year. ... more

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