Under Review

Ian William Craig

Cradle for the Wanting

Recital; 13/11/2015

Fraser Dobbs

Cradle For The Wanting, Ian William Craig’s second release on Recital, is the musical equivalent of several Jackson Pollock paintings layered on top of one another. Using tape loops and a microphone, Craig composes beautiful, desperately deep tracks that flutter between natural and synthetic. Unlike his 2014 Recital release, A Turn Of Breath, Cradle was recorded in a single season and without instrumentation aside from Craig’s operatic voice.

“Doubtshapes” begins with cues from Stars Of The Lid and their swelling sounds before becoming increasingly chaotic and noisy, and sets a trend for the gentle volumes and clipping distortion that grow into themes over the course of the record. Although Craig is known for his avant-garde performances and cryptic, sometimes challenging, structures, Cradle compounds his experimentation into almost traditional sonic arrangements.

The very particular aesthetic of Ian William Craig’s art is as present, and as finely-tuned as ever. A warm, ever-fuzzy flutter is blanketed over every track from his signature reel-to-reels, and channels frequently and intentionally clip into refracting patterns of noise. The range of sounds that his opera-trained vocals can emulate is impressive — and even while singing at his most articulate, different tones erupt as the loop recycles over the tape heads again and again.

Cradle For The Wanting is Ian William Craig at his most graceful. While seemingly intentionally stripped-back, this is Craig in his most immediate recorded form yet. In some ways, it seems like the “solo” record to A Turn Of Breath’s ensemble appearances, but the bareness here only reveals more intimacy.