Sorry For Laughing - See It Alone

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Sorry For Laughing is a project by Gordon H. Whitlow who is also a member of legendary US avantgarde collective Biota, formerly Mnemonists or Mnemonist Orchestra. Their music is a mixture of modern classical, experimental sounds, noise, industrial, avangarde, songwriting and free jazz. Their releases were published by their own self-produced label Dys between 1981 and 1986. By 1985 the group had split off into separate groups for visual and audio work. From that time, Mnemonists operated only as a visual arts collective while the musical activity was taken over by a new group called Biota that featured a few of the musicians involved with Mnemonists as well as many new members.In 1986 Gordon H. Whitlow released a cassette under the name Sorry For Laughing: "The compositions stem from my beginning days with the avant-garde recording ensemble Biota, shortly after completion of the Bellowing Room LP." The album was re-issued on CD by Klanggalerie in 2018 and is still available. Now, Gordon reactivated the project and changed it from a solo effort into a new supergroup: he is joined on See It Alone by Edward Ka-Spel of Legendary Pink Dots fame, and Martyn Bates of Eyeless In Gaza. Also contributing is Denver guitarist Janet Feder and Patrick Q.Wright, Kiyoharu Kuwayama and Nigel Whitlow. Together, these musicians created an exceptional album of tender music where stunningly beautiful vocals float around ambient soundscapes and minimal classical music.

Full tracklist: 1. Seen By Candlelight 2. A Howl In The Park 3. Fountain Of Snow 4. Obsolesce 5. The Necessity Of Good Timing 6. Conjoined 7. Seven Stormy Oceans (An Edward Lear Dream) 8. Agone 9. Anti-Hymn 10. Fate Stars 11. Struck Blind 12. Enter The Gates.

It is an album of intimate music. Maybe it is because of the instruments used by Whitlow, keeping the music small and intimate. It owes, perhaps, more to some Eyeless In Gaza output or Bates solo work, with those melodic piano touches, dreamy accordion and such, than of Ka-spel solo or the Legendary Pink Dots with some expectation such as The Necessity Of Good Timing. It is an album heavy on lyrical content, which, as you are no doubt aware of, isnt my strength. But I enjoy it all the same. There is, I believe, only one song in which both singers appear, but otherwise, they take turns in vocal duties. In an insane world, this is a flickering light of civilization. The ambient music from a slightly more modern classical perspective; dramatic, not abstract, but subdued and warm. A great record, that no fan of either singer should miss.
(Vital Weekly, June 2021)

Gordon večinoma igra na orgle, kar že samo po sebi zveni liturgično, čemur se obema pevcema ni bilo potrebno pretirano prilagajati. Njun naravni pristop se nagiba k notranje pomirjenemu, skoraj meditativnemu tonu. Melodije spomnijo na tradicionalni folk, kar dodaja nekaj čustvenega naboja. Aranžmaji so skoraj neslišni, prispevki violine in kitare so zgolj kulisa, ki nevsiljivo ilustrirajo te nepretenciozne pesmi.
(Rock Orobje, June 2021)

Die Grundstimmung des Albums ist dunkel und melancholisch, immer wieder trifft man auf die von den Pink Dots und Ka-Spel bekannten naiven Melodien – sei es aus dem Keyboard oder der Gitarre. Dazu gibt es dunkle Ambientsounds, viele kleine Soundspielereien, Gewittersounds, dunkle Orgelklänge und die sehnsüchtigen und immer süchtig machenden Klänge von Patrick Q. Wrights Violine. (...) See it alone ist eine großartige Mischung aus Neo-Folk, Ambient, Elektronik und Wave, die von der ersten bis zur letzten Note begeistert. Auch hier gilt: hier steckt auch viel Experimentelles und Schräges drin, und trotzdem wurde ein bündiges Album mit zwölf durchweg eingängigen Stücken mit Suchtfaktor geschaffen. Und auch bei diesem Werk bleibt mir nur die Höchstwertung und meine Hochachtung davor, wie die am Album beteiligten Musiker stoisch ihr Ding durchziehen und eine Perle nach der anderen abliefern. Wer von diesem Album eingesogen wird, wird darin ertrinken – und dies in melancholischer Freude.
(Handwritten Mag, June 2021)