Earlier this year Anticipate, a new label run by Ezekiel Honig, brought us the curiously titled, but lovely, debut album from Mark Templeton, ‘Standing on a Hummingbird.’ The inaugural release is followed by the poetically named ‘Airships Fill the Sky’, a strangely satisfying album from NY based Morgan Packard. Packard and Honig are of the same New York ilk as Microcosm Records: they explore warm electronic beats, improv and a host of other narrow and fruitful paths. The emphasis is on live performance, but they also make elegant recordings – Honig and Packard’s Microcosm collaboration from last year, for example.
‘Airships Fill the Sky’ is built on loops, skips and folds of electronics and live instrumentation. Though two of the instruments are among my least favorite: accordion and saxophone, Packard manages to transmute them well enough into structure to sufficiently abrogate the effects.
The album has a heaviness that belies the title. It brings to mind the Tim Hecker of ‘Haunt Me’ and ‘Radio Amor’, though the second track is experimental in more of a Delay/agf vein with its mysterious vocal sample. The weight of the music, which comes from the lush chords and textured stabs, is balanced by a delicacy in the structures, and this parity gives the album, overall, the lugubrious grace of an old zeppelin. Its depth and pace can offer solace and rejuvenation on a quiet afternoon.
The album is one half of a package that includes a DVD of material drawn from a live performance with artist Joshua Ott. Ott's smooth abstractions are a good fit with Packard’s sound; a nice taster for what must be more impressive live.
Buy Morgan Packard - Airships Fill the Sky at
Tracklist: Morgan Packard - Airships Fill the Sky1. Airships Fill the Sky
2. I Think I...
3. Mink Hills
4. A Place Worth Keeping (part 1)
5. A Place Worth Keeping (part 2)
7. Kelp Sway
9. They Will Rise Forever