David Newlyn is a musician based in Durham, England.
This new album has been recorded on micro cassettes, phones and cameras, using fields recordings taken while visiting the Belgian medieval city of Bruges.
You never identify precisely those outdoor sounds but you can feel these through the music, as they create the atmosphere of the songs, so I imagine myself easily walking through quiet and dormant small roads between old buildings and along canals.
While the process may recall the tape deterioration exploration of William Basinski, the fact David Newlyn isn't using repetitions and themes makes the final result totally divergent.
In a certain way "Deterioration" is mostly an experimentation whose guidelines made possible to achieve a decent collection of tracks. If i had to relate my impression about this record and choose a season, I would say late winter as it is not very colored and mostly cold but without being glacial as recurrent hiss is here to give some comfort.
To enjoy "Deterioration" it is necessary to keep a critical and attentive point of view. The opening track "Dependence" really makes me think about walking at dawn through the cold street of a still sleepy town, crossing the path of people returning home while others are on their way to start the day, while you're just visiting with a totally different perception of time.
"Why Does My Number Change" is an instant of dream with the sunlight giving an unexpected beauty to the rooftops as seen from a viewpoint. "Set Four" sounds like an instrumental fragment of the Cocteau Twins or This Mortal Coil played inside a full cloud of hiss. The reverb and found sounds on "A Different Person" add an unexpected graceful perspective on the proto emulation of strings and piano. "Deletion On" reminds of of Yuichiro Fujimoto with its strong sense of intimacy.
Other tracks just leave me confused dealing with a certain isolationism : "Atheist", "Seacoal Black", "Bring Your Own Reasons", "Away From The Receiver".
I think it is a relatively uneven album but featuring several interesting directions.