|For the last five years Trunk Records have been issuing the great, lost work of pioneering British composer Basil Kirchin. Here is his last album, completed only a couple of weeks before he passed away in late 2005. It proves that Kirchin, even in his mid-'70s, was still very much an experimentalist at the top of his odd game. Kirchin invented ambient music and set the template to which much of today's avant garde music sounds like. Highlights of Particles are many -- "The Atonals" for example, was made using conversations between musicians that Basil had secretly recorded over the years. These conversations were then processed into music and the results are quite startling. In fact, the whole album is brimming and bursting with odd ideas, new ways and the unique Kirchin sound. The current Trunk favorite is the last, epic ten-minute hypnotic monster simply called "E+Me." It's an obvious homage to his dear wife Esther, who actually sings at the end of this heavily rhythmic, modal tune. Tragically, Esther died a week before this last Kirchin CD was pressed. Particles adds further fuel to the glowing Kirchin legend, and increases his standing up there with all the other groovy weirdos of the world.
- Basil Kirchin is the UK's great lost treasure -- the man who invented ambient music. He began film composing in the mid-1960s and experimenting with tape and industrial sounds in the late 1960s. His work is highly sought after by collectors and musicians alike. It is rumoured Jim O'Rourke paid $1000 for a rare Kirchin LP in the past. Basil Kirchin also appears on the legendary Nurse With Wound list of influences.
- Particles is the last album made by Kirchin before his death in late 2005.
- "Kirchin's varied output has been cited as an influence by those in the know -- Brian Eno, Broadcast, and Nurse With Wound, among others -- and Trunk's reissues of fascinating, frightening 'journeys' like Quantum and Worlds Within Worlds are helping expose an obscure but nevertheless captivating catalog of music to a wider audience." --Stylus Magazine
It’s always cause for celebration when a new Trunk album comes in from the wide world of musical oddness. For some reason Johnny Trunk has managed to get a passage into the land of library music, soundtrack music and other such strangeness and just because of the lovely feller he is, he packages it all up for us, the humble consumer. This time around he’s managed to dig up something truly special – Basil Kirchin’s final masterpiece, the epic ‘Particles’. Apparently buoyed by the new interest in his work thanks to Trunk’s re-issue of ‘Quantum’, Kirchin started recording again and even though he was incredibly ill with cancer (which would eventually take his life) he managed to put together this incredible album. Fusing older unreleased 60s recordings with newer sessions and blending this in with secretly recorded conversations he had been collecting over the years, the resulting album is like a garment woven from many different beautiful materials and colours. ‘Concept Suite featuring the "Atonals". "Secret Conversations Between Instruments"’ is probably the best example of this, as Kirchin re-interprets these secret recordings as the chatter of horns. This track is both stunningly inventive and hugely enjoyable, and while being atonal never breaches into ‘unlistenable’, rather Kirchin’s wry humour is captured in one deceptively simple moment. Elsewhere fluttering tape-saturated flutes are turned into something resembling the experimental electronics of Delia Derbyshire or her Radiophonic contemporaries, but at the same time this sounds effortlessly modern. A daring blend of old and new, Kirchin absolutely excels here on his swansong and what better way to remember a great British composer than with an album that stuns from beginning to end. Highly recommended!