Long Story Short : Burial Grid, Rupert Lally, Hawksmoor, Camp Of Wolves

It’s been quite the year for music, hasn’t it? There hasn’t been a shortage of great albums to hit my ears, which only makes the year-end that much harder. The favorite lists are a labor of love, at least to me. It’s a time to go back and revisit what I’ve heard and then narrow it all down to those albums that hit me hard. And in even some cases revisiting albums that I liked but just kind of set aside and then realizing they’re absolutely brilliant.

In any case, that’s what the rest of December is going to be for me. I’ll be making those lists and checking them twice, then a third and fourth time, and narrowing it down to my favorites of 2022. There’s a lot to go through, but in the mean time there’s still some great albums still dropping into November and December and I’m here today to shed a little light on some recent album drops.

It always seems to be that record drops in January, February, November and December are taking a big risk. The risk of being overlooked, that is. You put your heart and soul into the work and then have it be shuffled off because everyone is either still getting used to the new year, or they’re reflecting on the last 11 months and forget about the fact that folks are still pretty creative despite what month it is.

So these four releases are piping hot and mind-blowing. They’re also from four artists I have much love for: Burial Grid, Rupert Lally, Hawksmoor, and Camp of Wolves. None of these artists rest on their laurels, as they’re continuously writing, creating, recording, and building on what came before. I’ve been moved by all of their work, so hit these albums up and end the musical year 2022 on one hell of a note.

Camp of Wolves : A Whisper of Broken Things

I can say that David Salisbury’s Camp Of Wolves musical project has made some of the most moving music I’ve heard in the last few years. Electronic sounds with heart, soul, and an undercurrent of melancholy whether the mood is dreamlike, eerie, or a combination of the two. He builds personal journeys that while we don’t have the history of these journeys, we feel them in a very visceral way.

On his newest album with label Woodford Halse titled A Whisper of Broken Things, Salisbury gives us aching, recollective and mysterious pieces that feel as much gauzy, lucid fever dreams and shaded noir tomes soundtracking a personal journey to some sort of self discovery.

A Whisper of Broken Things is yet another stunning work from one of my favorite artists working in the electronic field.

Rupert Lally : Hacker

Rupert Lally makes music that builds worlds to explore. His albums are narrative pieces, whether his inspiration is the literary worlds of Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, or his own original concepts. As a published author his work carries with it story as much as sound.

His latest album with Spun Out Of Control is Hacker, a hard electro 80s throwback that pulls inspiration from Kevin Mitnick’s book, A Ghost In The Wires: My Adventures As The World’s Most Wanted Hacker. It also carries with it sound of early 80s electronic scores and sound design. The sound is analog, as is the world of this “Hacker” which takes place pre-internet. Dial tones, wired infiltration, and information still very much floating by via air waves and motherboards, Rupert Lally will hit all of your 80s sweet spots and make you long for the days when Wargames were still played in the world of DOS.

Burial Grid : Music For No Tomorrow

Adam Michael Kozak isn’t afraid to soak in the darkness and share it through his musical project Burial Grid. Depression, anxiety, fear, and desolation are worlds Kozak has continually explored in his work since the inception of Burial Grid. While others might use these as shock value and as a means to build walls between them and the listener, Adam finds healing in the darkness. Musical therapy through trudging up the sludge of trauma. It’s healthier than drugs, that’s for sure.

The last two years has seen a lightness in Burial Grid’s work. While personal tragedy and the struggle with the decline of society continue and remain, Kozak has made an effort to make music that helps heal the tired psyche. Shores Of Quiddity began that healing, with electronic tomes made to calm anxiety-burnt minds. And now with his Werra Foxma debut Music For No Tomorrow Burial Grid seems to have expanded into world music, and with it a bit more light to clear those dusty shadows.

With touches of Talking Heads, the solo work of Steward Copeland’s The Rhythmatist, and even Byrne/Eno’s My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, Adam Michael Kozak has taken Burial Grid into new territory, while still retaining the DNA that made Burial Grid what it is. Electronic buzzes, ethereal soundscapes, and a rhythmic feel that pulls the album into new and exciting territory.

Hawksmoor : Crystal World EP

James McKeown, aka Hawksmoor, has made some of the headiest electronic music I’ve had the pleasure of devouring over the last couple years. He locks into 70s Komische while firmly placing his works in the prog section of your local brick n mortar. Albums like Methods Of Dreaming, On Prescription, and Concrete Island(with The Heartwood Institute) all are of the hazy basement, headphone variety that invite psychedelic exploration while digging deeper than surface level.

On Crystal World EP, Hawksmoor keeps things more ethereal and crystalline. Inspired by the images of Spectral Studio, as well as author JG Ballard, McKeown builds dream-like tomes that offer sound worlds exquisitely ornamented that brush up against both shimmering electronica and woozy ambient.

Okay kids, after today I’ll be making my lists and revisiting musical ghosts of 2022’s past. There’s a lot to go through, but it’s a labor of love. I’m excited to sum up this year in album terms. Now go give these albums above a listen. Maybe even hit up those Bandcamp links and drop some digital coin in the virtual slot. That’s how we keep music coming, paying for what we love and supporting these artists. Put your money where your ears are.

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