Land Observations sign to Mute and announce debut album
Land Observations is the solo project of James Brooks, which debuted at the Short Circuit presents Mute Festival at the Roundhouse back in May 2011.
Brooks' previous band, Appliance, released four critically acclaimed albums all via Mute between 1999 and 2003 before disbanding, with a krautrock inspired sound they toured with Add N to X, Goldfrapp and Wire and were favourites of the late John Peel. The band folded following their appearance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2003. In October 2010, the band released ”ËAppliance, Reconditioned' a retrospective 3CD box set of early recordings, unreleased material and Peel sessions on the RROOPP label
Since then, Brooks has developed his visual and audio art with various shows across the UK, North America and Europe (his current exhibition, The Information Exchange, is at Domobaal, London, WC1 until August 2012).
Attempts to develop a new project alongside the visual art meant that Brooks did a lot of home recording at his flat in Hackney, East London. Land Observations developed out of an interest in the former Roman roads that lay just a short walk from his front door - roads of communication and conquest that stretch from the old City of London and out across parts of Britain, Europe and beyond. This is literally ”Ëroad music' ”â but distinctly British road music, no ”ËBorn To Be Wild' here, this album delves into the physical connections that roads provide as opposed to the experience of travelling along them.
Land Observations sees Brooks exploring the power of minimalism via layered, repetitive guitar to create warm, evocative instrumentals. Brooks spent considerable time researching the UK's Roman Roads ”â as such each of his compositions responds directly to the psychogeography of the individual road - this isn't just an historical project, or an attempt to look only into the past. There is an obvious fascination with Roman Roads as manmade structures, with their bold lines carving through the landscape, creating an album that's a reflection on the broader ideas of travel, momentum and progress.
Roman Roads IV - XI will be released via Mute on CD/LP/DL, with packaging featuring original drawings by Brooks.
Live dates will be announced shortly.