Barny Carter – Still Life [Exclusive Listen]
After a couple of teaser tracks from Barny Carter his debut EP is finally available to listen. The thoughtful beauty of his work has been one of my pleasures of this year. To find out a bit more about the young Bristolian we’ve an exclusive interview.
1. How do you think coming from Bristol has shaped your music? It’s a great city, it’s definitely inspiring, I love living here.
2. Is the EP a collection of tunes or does it have any other meaning? It’s a collection of five tracks that I’ve worked on over the last couple years but no other meaning really. I’m just excited about the release and I hope people enjoy them.
3. Both myself and The Get Downnn used the word ‘thoughtful‘ about your music. Do you think that’s right or rubbish? I love ‘Insides’ by Jon Hopkins and how so much care and attention has been taken with every last bit of sound. So I guess I try and put some care and thought into my music.
4. Your music is largely instrumental. Do you want a vocalist/vocalists? Yeah I’ve been working with vocals more recently, so vocals will definitely feature in future tracks.
5. Tell us about your BBC Emerging Proms experience? In 2009, I played with my band at the time ‘Hunting Bears’. It was great, it was at the Roundhouse in Camden – streamed online so people could watch back in Bristol! Yeah it was lovely. We’d been recording there a few months before as well and met Nick Mason – who’s piano by coincidence I actually worked on a few months ago!
6. Who is your musical hero or what is your most formative experience? I have to say Thom Yorke and Radiohead really – Kid A is just perfect. But I kind of grew up with Four Tet, Aphex, Boards of Canada – all of Warp and also Mogwai. And more recently Burial and Jon Hopkins have influenced me a lot. Also, I remember when I was very young listening to Accelerator by Future Sound of London on tape and that definitely had an impact on me. That was my first introduction to electronic music.
7. What does being an apprentice piano technician involve? I work at Mickleburgh workshop on Stokes Croft. I personally mainly work on restoring Actions – so that involves taking the hammers, levers and dampers apart. Fitting new felts, new pins, sometimes new hammerheads, fitting it together and regulating it all. But, yeah, as a workshop we basically repair and restore old pianos and make them new again. It’s a great opportunity for sampling interesting sounds as well. The percussive sounds in ‘Coast’ were created from around the workshop – bits of piano and tools. So I enjoy seeing what sounds I can get out of a piano.
8. Where do you want to go next with your music? Well my next plan is to just keep writing, I have quite a bit of new music on the go at the moment so I’d like to hopefully work towards another release of some kind.
Now, the EP. Park – previously here – is a beautiful introduction to Barney’s work. As I said, “I’m not sure how instrumental music can be ‘thoughtful’ but this is.” Next, Coast. Full of found sound, clicks and snatches of piano. This is much more experimental. Quite Four Tet. Castel appeared here before when I said “The stately background washes of synth give it an introspective air. This is offset by the fractured beats and bubbling foreground.” Wasp is another more experimental track. Very Warp. But perhaps more experiment than finished creation. The EP ends with Sing, where a voice appears for the first time. But quite disembodied. There’s a sense that this is the comedown coda to Park that started the EP. A lovely debut that balances warmth and reassurance with experimentation and awkwardness. Augurs well for future releases.
Out now on itunes: http://itunes.apple.com/album/still-life-ep/id554947284
Release/catalogue number: 5051813726200
Release date: Aug 28, 2012