Ian Middleton
Time Building
LP (E66)

 

Belgium £16.50 (including postage)

Europe £18.50 (including postage)

Rest of world £23 (including postage)

 

Edition of 250 copies


“I started making music in earnest in 1994 with a Casio keyboard and a four-track cassette recorder. Since 1996 

I have been using a Korg MS10 analogue synthesiser and some effects pedals which I have added over time — delays, phasers, a ring modulator and a pattern generator. Occasionally I use acoustic sounds as well. On this LP, I made extensive use of a pattern generator 

(a Moog Murf) in combination with 

other effects. Before recording anything, 

I spend time designing and shaping
the sounds I’m going to use, many of which I tend to reject at this stage. 

Each piece is built up layer by layer. 

The synthesiser and effects are all cyclic in nature, but when used in combination
the sound never repeats precisely. It is 

a continuously varying stream which 

I bring under control. My starting point is a clear and inquisitive frame of mind, 

and a certain kind of energy. I never hear a finished piece in my head before it is made, but to some extent I am trying to make real an idealised music which aspires to be useful, beautiful and new.”

Reviews

Middleton with his Korg synth and effects recorded in 2007 and 2008. On Beam 

he experiments with foreign bodies and pieces of metal junk, but remainder of album is his usual austere pulsing and droning music with tiny subtle details bubbling below the surface. The major high points include Well Spring and Cycle, and The Tower which is a gorgeous little miniature. Middleton
can produce some quite odd and almost alienating records, but this one has 

a sunny disposition and an optimistic frame of mind. Middleton reveals in writing that he made use of a pattern
generator for this album, and it’s not insignificant that he tells us about his electronic equipment before anything else. Inspired by nature in an indirect 

way, he is aiming at a form of "idealised
music", and most of the work takes 

place in the planning stages and careful building of layers in his recording devices. His methods always results in an exceptionally clear electronic sound, 

and there is considerable economy in each idea; there is no need for him to
drone endlessly for 20 minutes when 

the point can be made in a fraction of the time. As a result, his music is satisfying and uncluttered. Triple-filtered vodka for the heart and mind.

 

Ed Pinsent in The Sound Projector


Arriving from a certain class of musicians and artists whose dedication to their craft pays absolutely no attention whatsoever
to trends or the demands of the listener
, Ian Middleton has been forging his 

own path in the often enticing world of analogue synth drones and related areas since the mid-1990s. Although he now
employs a wider range of tools to help realise his work, it has always aspired 

to reach heights so many others who 

are similarly-inclined completely fail to [reach]. Sometimes Ian Middleton’s
work may flounder slightly due to various limitations but, mostly, it succeeds in being extremely natural, beautiful 

and mesmerising simply due to his possessing a very clear idea about his objectives. On Time Building, there are six pieces evenly divided over both sides which are not only dedicated to the repetitive outdoor sounds Ian likes so much but capture them perfectly. In the past, I’ve generally likened Ian’s work 

to those rather more obscure or hidden places either around the world, or on others, and whilst this may be true to 

a certain extent, it’s also very clear he’s catching nature’s cycles closer to home too. Layered oscillating tones that forever metamorphose form the main body of these pieces, yet other sounds glide in, make subtle and brief appearances, 

and occasionally take over altogether, overtly resulting in music that feels alive. Always engaging and never once afraid to explore all the available contours that present themselves, Middleton’s work 

is up there with everything at once extraordinary and inspiring.

 

Richard Johnson at Adverse Effect


Ian’s masterful follow-up to Swill Radio’s Aural Spaces LP. A beautiful set of long, slow, and stately synth instrumentals that
drone on gorgeously
. Ian’s attention to beauty and detail grows by leaps and bounds these days. Time Building is impeccably paced and sequenced throughout. Ian’s music has a timeless quality, removed from the hype and the dreariness of the modern world, without regressing into a faux recreation of the past. Excellent stuff. You really shouldn’t be without it. The shimmering essence
of a very different world.

 

Scott Foust


Time Building, the latest album from Ian Middleton, [contains] six long drones that shimmer like heat haze into the room. Certainly a more focused effort than [its predecessor] Aural Spaces, the pieces
are mature and thoughtful in their construction, time being spent on finding the correct sounds to layer together, 

the music being created from the relationship between the repeating loops, shifting and phasing with measured beauty. Mainly recorded with a Korg
MS-10 and a handful of effects, this is 

a lesson in restraint, a work of purity as one listen to the magnificent Wellspring will tell you. This is a collection that 

can stand beside My Cat is an Alien in
its quality and presence, something that means it is absolutely essential for fans 

of electronic music and drone.

 

Simon Lewis at Terrascope Online