North Bay - Thorough Masterminds
North Bay’s recent song ‘Thorough Masterminds’, kindly deposited in my inbox last night, is one of the more recent songs to surface from the grandiose ambient music project of Oxford’s Tom Jenkinson. On listening to the music I cannot help but visualise a kind of multi-layered mesh of grey sounds rising up and surrounding. The ghoulish, rural, production is vast and infinite and dream-like. The recording and each gentle chord progression in the bass underpins an excavation of musical detail, but the general feel is as is important, capturing in the half-audible vocal layering a Church-like choral folk sound.
I cannot tell how many softly spoken voices there are - or how many instruments are looped and drenched in a natural reverb, but there is enough happening in these five ethereal minutes that the arrangement is multi-faceted and impossible not to re-interpret in new ways each time listen. For all the faithful shoegaze overcrowding in the mix, retained is that idiosyncratic, British softness in production, hints of the central British countryside, and a shadow of spiritual Church-folk music.
Find more of North Bay on facebook or soundcloud, where he’s delivering song after song in the same vein as Thorough Masterminds (below).