Preston Field Audio’s Rhythm Tree Fell ended up being one of my favourite tapes of 2016 over at The Quietus. It documented the titular Lancashire town with pianos, brass bands, lilting electric guitars, and some properly swooning beauty. You can now stream its followup P.F.A. below…
For P.F.A., Preston Field Audio (aka Carl Brown) keeps the focus on his beloved home town, aiming to drop the listener right into Preston city centre. The album began life with Brown heading over to St. Walburges church on New Years Day 2017, when he knew an organ player would be in, and recorded a few snippets of her warming up. A looped four chord organ sample from that morning makes up the core of opening track ‘St. Walburges’, coalescing alongside guests playing piano and violin, plus further recordings including the Catholic priest holding mass later that day.
The four tracks on the release take you to four corners of Preston – St. Walburges’, the market, the River Ribble, and Preston Bus Station – painting frank portraits that avoid drama, highlight texture, and–as Brown and his collaborators expressly aimed to do–never take the easy path to a crescendo.
On closing track ‘The Night Bus’, additional production by Josh Horsley (aka Yehoshua) collates violin scrapes with the huffs and puffs of bus exhausts at the station, ominously drifting into the night. ‘River Phrase’ heads to the Ribble and shuffles together peaceful piano and Korg Arp Odyssey drones with the babbling rush of the tidal river.
Like its predecessor it’s a blissful and unclichéd document of Preston, viewing it not only as a town with its own distinct spirit and aesthetic, but as a community. As much as any portrait of Preston, P.F.A. is a document of a compelling collaboration between friends, exploring their surroundings together. Order it here