R8 – Ian William Craig – “A Turn Of Breath” LP

  1. Before Meaning Comes – 3:12
  2. On the Reach Of Explanations – 6:00
  3. Red Gate with Starling – 3:18
  4. Rooms – 2:06
  5. A Slight Grip, a Gentle Hold (Part 1) – 4:19
  6. Second Lens – 3:25
  7. The Edges – 5:10
  8. New Brighton Park, July 2013 – 1:32
  9. TEAC Poem – 2:44
  10. Either Or – 5:27
  11. A Slight Grip, a Gentle Hold (Part 2) – 4:48
  12. A Forgetting Place – 1:56


Recital here presents the premiere LP by vocalist Ian William Craig (b. 1980, Edmonton). Ian, a trained opera singer,  delivers an elegant balance between theatrical and ambient sentiments. A Turn of Breath combines the essence of a choral LP from Angel Records or Deutsche Grammophon with the spontaneity of experimental home-recording.

This collection holds twelve works for voice and 1/4″ tape, recorded from 2011-2013. Voice appears as the Sun’s light through a vast storm; still obscured by tape malfunctions and manipulations. A system of reel to reels is employed, which yields a lovely sort of morphing repetition. Each iteration crumbles as more harmony is placed on top, residual tones spilling off the sides into nothingness.

Craig’s innate ability to sing beautiful, sorrowful melodies carries each track. The pieces on A Turn of Breath vary from grand choral meditations to quiet interludes, and even a few impressionistic ‘songs’ accompanied by faint acoustic guitar. An overarching warmth resonates through each side, making this a very pleasant listen. A suitable compliment to a pot of coffee in the morning or a glass of armagnac in the evening.
First Pressing of 500 LPs;  (Sold out)
Standard edition of 375 on black wax with colored insert. Includes digital download.

Deluxe edition of 125 pressed on infused bone & fuchsia wax, includes a supplemental CDr, “Short of Breath”
Second Pressing;  (Sold out)
Edition of 250 on infused ocean-blue & black wax, with colored insert (different insert artwork than first pressing). Includes digital download.

Download on iTunes


The New York Times (Top 10 albums)
Tiny Mix Tapes (#6 in the Top 50)
Rolling Stone (Top 20 “avant” albums)
The Guardian
Coke machine Glow

Hear Feel

Tiny Mix Tapes (review)

A Closer Listen


Tiny Mix Tapes (blurb)
Anti-Gravity Bunny
Life is Noise

Mojo Magazine











Volcanic Tongue

“Heavenly psychedelic/baroque/choral fantasias scored for vocal and reel-to-reel tape by Craig, a trained opera singer, on Sean McCann’s private Recital imprint in an edition of 375 copies: this is a stunning set, channelling the hallucinatory heavens of Cannaxis via the automating music of Fripp & Eno and the decaying tape compositions of a William Basinski. Craig uses mutating loops of massed choral song and treats it with mile-deep drone setting, unearthly shortwave and sudden euphoric rushes of celestial tone, combining a devotional Grouper/Popol Vuh/Arvo Part appeal with what could almost be an Industrial tape evisceration of Palestrina’s Allegri, using noise, fuzz, tape flutter and in the red signalling to generate a form of modern holy music that takes the tradition out into full-beam cosmo drone territory while locating it in the sounds of the body itself. If the sound of angel vox suspended over voids of malevolent tone while tape loops mark cyclical time appeals at all then this is your evening shuttle, with the whole deal floating slowly and serenely into great gulfs of static oblivion.  A striking vision of the sound of modern holy music, can’t stop spinning this, comes with a download, very highly recommended!!”

Norman Records

“Can only see one other thing we’ve got in stock on this great little label and that was something by Sean McCann that blew our Ant right away. Recital only release a handful of things a year from what I can see and this here baby is their latest squeeze. It’s not hard to hear why.

After enjoying music over the years by the likes of Tim HeckerBen Frost and, more recently, master saxophone smearer Colin Stetson, I’m always looking for the next person to come along and smudge their celestial sonic vision right across my cochlea. Ethereal dreamscapes are nothing new, with the Ladies quarter being especially infused with some mercurial talent over the last decade from HolterHarrisBarwick et al. But the men who construct such beautiful noise often leave their voices out of it and concentrate on forging increasingly fuzzed-out bludgeoning sound-drifts to ricochet around your mind.

I dunno who the enigmatic Ian William Craig is but he’s certainly got what it takes to hang with the girls. His work is of a more tender nature relying on ghostly atmosphere and organic plumes of brittle noise / cracked aural smog to carry his own stunning choral manipulations. His surface noise-imbued pieces are heavily soaked in multi-pitched glossolalia to construct a very spectral sound that is indeed, often most in spirit with Colin Stetson or early Belong. There’s flecks ofMBV/FSA-style distortion in parts but it’s delivered as clouds of sonic euphoria amongst which the vocals ascend and swoop in a very arresting manner.

There’s a brief track called ‘Rooms’ that dispenses with all those extra clothes to be a gorgeously stark high-voiced folk song swathed in warm melancholy, palpable hiss and woozy channel wavering. I’m reminded a little of Natural Snow Building‘s Medhi here. The following piece recalls both the otherworldly majesty of Arthur Russell and an old CD beloved of Phil and I, Laura Gibson & Ethan Rose’s stunning ‘Bridge Carols‘.

So, a mere side in and I’m over my word count I suspect so I won’t bore you much further. I do heartily recommend getting stuck into this guy’s album here though. There’s a rather unruly, out-in-the-wilderness aspect to it all that I cannot cease to get out of my head. Basically it sounds very organic and almost without boundaries so should, overall, fascinate most lovers of the artists I’ve mentioned. There’s literally tons going on and I don’t want any of it to stop.”