Another gorgeous release, both visually and sonically, from Idea records, this time from one of our favorite composers, Jonathan Coleclough. Coleclough has been responsible for some of the most beautiful drone records we have ever heard, and along with occasional partner Andrew Chalk produced one of Aquarius’ all time favorite recordings, the breathtaking Sumac. Casino is the second entry in Idea Records series of unaltered field recordings and features two sidelong recordings, presented in their raw, unedited, and unprocessed form. Side one is a recording of a casino in Las Vegas and is a woozy, hypnotic wash of overlapping melodies swirled into a dense polyphony, the clicking and clattering of coins, the whir of slot machines and the rumble of muted conversations. While not necessarily soothing by themselves, all of those disparate elements blend into a dreamy, shimmery soporific whole. Side two is a recording of tree frogs in Antigua and displays a similar, albeit much simpler pattern as the Casino recordings, with a litany of high end squeaks over warbly lower pitched chirps all over a dense bed of shimmery distant scree. The accompanying CD further demonstrates the sonic similarities between the two recordings, by gradually mixing and crossfading the pleasing din of the casino into the latenight clamour of chirping and croaking frogs, and then eventually into the sound of crashing surf. The LP is on audiophile 220 gram vinyl, and the LP and CD are housed in a nice, thick gorgeously designed sleeve!
Jim Haynes, Aquarius Records, July 2003.