World Winding Down

by Agitated Radio Pilot

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about

"This has to be one of the most beautifully sad, song-based albums I have heard in some time. Agitated Radio Pilot is the vehicle for songwriter David Colohan, who might be better known for his role at the Deserted Village label. "World Winding Down" finds Colohan working with a cast of like minded collaborators (including Maja Eliot, Richard Moult, Sharon Kraus, and Richard Skelton to name just a few) to create a double disc album of songs cycling through a heartfelt range of feelings dealing with loss, acceptance, impermanence, and love. The songs are mostly centered around simple acoustic guitar passages wrapped up in accordion, piano, and various drones. The maturity of Colohan's songwriting voice is shown in his ability to squeeze every ounce of emotion out of seemingly simple melodies. All of this would be in vain though without the introspective lyrics that reveal just enough to keep the listener feeling as though Colohan might just be speaking inside of their own minds.

The sense of melancholy captured on "World Winding Down" is so specific and special, but I can't help but compare it to one of my all time favorite records by This Mortal Coil -"It'll End it Tears". Both albums happen to share a cover of Roy Harper's "Another Day", but the similarity goes deeper than that. Anyone who was ever a fan of This Mortal Coil can understand the juxtaposition of beauty and sadness that they perfected. It was kind of like a nostalgic dream in which every hope and every lost love you ever had came back to gently haunt and caress you. It's hard to put into words, which was why I am so thrilled to hear Colohan tapping into that same stream- his rich baritone voice pulling from the collective memory of so many souls too sensitive for their own good. This album will undoubtedly stand the test of time, the pacing of ambient interludes with incredibly memorable songs is perfect and makes for a listening experience which grows along with the listener. I've had this on repeat since I received it, and I it still continues to move me. 10/10 -- Charles Franklin" - Foxy Digitalis

"Released in late 2007, World Winding Down is Agitated Radio Pilot's first album on (non-recordable) CD, and a double one at that! It also might turn out to be David Colohan's masterpiece, because I would surely be intimidated if the project ever manages to create something even better. Little known though it is, I believe music like this is so much better than most of what gets released nowadays in related areas like folk and singer/songwriter. On this album, Agitated Radio Pilot takes elements from those genres and really pushes them beyond into brilliant new territories.

In a way, World Winding Down is a logical follow-up to 2006's Your Turn To Go it Alone; the main emphasis is again on melancholic songs based on guitar and vocals. However, the role of instrumentals has become bigger, making this album the, for me, perfect synthesis of great songs and beautiful acoustic soundscapes and interludes. An impressive host of guest artists provides instrumental and vocal support to all of this; it would be a bit much to list all them - they fill up an entire page on the booklet - but some of the more important are Richard Moult (Far Black Furlong) on piano, Maja Elliott on keyboards and vocals, and Alison O'Donnell (Mellow Candle) on vocals. Another important element are the many field recordings (mainly by Gavin Prior and Anders Gjerde) and bird songs that are subtly woven into both the songs and the instrumentals.

Now, for a brief impression of the structure of the album. Not only is this a double album, there is also a very strong symmetry between Numinous Blues and Luminous Blues. Both have twelve tracks, to start with, and are about 45 to 50 minutes long. But the nature of the corresponding tracks on each half is also quite similar. The first track on both sides is an instrumental intro. The one half has a warm droning soundscape, while the other has beautiful short piano composition by Richard Moult with guest vocals by Larissa Pychlau (Cele) and added effects. The second and third tracks are all excellent examples of Colohan's typical type of songwriting. Especially "All That Fall" and "Around Closing Time" display his undeniable talent for both song and lyric writing. The fourth tracks take this even further though; "Caroline Sings" and "Take Heed of Your Hurt" are both stunningly beautiful songs, each with backing vocals by O'Donnell and keyboards by Elliott. Tracks five are both interludes, and the sixes and sevens contain (what else) central tracks. The title track and "Another Day" (a Roy Harper cover) are both great, but the sevens must be some of my absolute favourites. On this pair, Richard Moult and David Colohan form the perfect duo, bringing two extraordinarily beautiful piano songs. I hope to hear these two together more often in the future! The symmetry is a bit less from this point on, but mention goes anyway to "Earthfasts", another one of my favourite tracks. It's the longest one, and a great exercise in freefolk experimentation. It starts off with some great bluesy guitar and strings work by Richard Skelton, and then moves into great modern folk piece, where most of the female guest vocalists join in as a choir, also featuring Sharron Kraus this time. The two by two times final tracks are again similar. The elevens are final pieces of regular song, while the two closing tracks take a laid-back ambient approach, ending both sides of the album on a moody, melancholic note.

Though the album is not without a few flaws (mostly to do with performance of some of the guest vocalists and some of the noisy guitar solos), if there's any album that has enough merit to cover up tiny blemishes ten times over, it's this one. The way already excellent songs are combined with the musical detail and depth of sound that we hear on all of these songs here is the mark of a true classic. In this way, World Winding Down transcends genre limitations and unites the best elements from different areas of music. Of course it still is, mainly, a 'folk' album, but you'll soon discover that is also much more. Just as the basic melodies of the folk song become something more through the combination with soundscapes and experimentation, so do the lyrics, and a song which in other contexts would be 'just' about love and loss, becomes even more profound.

If it's not clear by now that I'm enthusiastic about this album, you haven't been reading very well. This is easily my favourite album of 2007, and one of those rare albums that makes me doubt whether I should break my rule of not giving higher grades than 9 when an album is just released. Enough talk - go out and give this one a listen, and spread the word. If Colohan doesn't get any recognition for this, the world is a poor place..." Evening of Light

"I've not been listening very carefully to Agitated Radio Pilot's past releases. Most of them are sold out since long, and released on CDR in small amounts. Also, the few tracks I've heard
failed to impress me. Therefore I didn't really expect anything special from this 2007 release. I was glad to see it was on proper CD though, and with a total 24 tracks spread out evenly on two discs, I hoped it
would contain at least something of interest. The intro was pretty much what I expected, and also what Agitated Radio Pilot has always
been for me; an experimental, droning piece of ambient and folky sounds. It's not bad, but half-boring and certainly nothing special.
I was though very surprised when the second track started, or blown away rather. I saw a completely different side of Dave's project, and it took a shortcut straight to my heart. And the track that followed was even better, not to mention the next one and on and on. I have since then gazed back on the old albums as well, and realized that I've been completely wrong about them. I also took a serious listen to "Your Turn to Go it Alone", an album where Dave's singing and
guitar playing is in focus, which is also the case of "World Winding Down". It was recorded together with an army of guest musicians and vocalists. Some unknown, and some I am more familiar with. Among them we find Maja Elliott from CURRENT 93, Allison O'Donnell who handled the vocals in the 70's psych-folk band MELLOW CANDLE, the legendary Sharron Kraus and Richard Moult. But of course, the star is David, with his lovely, dreamy voice that really fills the purpose, and his sad and melancholic guitar plucks, both acoustic and electric. The sound falls in between modern, acoustic folk a'la IN GOWAN RING,
and 60's and 70's acts like TIR NA NOG and, in my opinion PEARLS BEFORE SWINE, which is a great achievement! I'll rewind a bit now, back to the second track, the one I spoke about up there. "All that Falls" is the title. Simply a masterpiece and this track alone would give you enough value for the money. Actually, its sad intro would be enough, or
the lyrics. "Everybody Lives (Just this Once)" has the same qualities, but the main instrument here is the piano. "Caroline Sings" is another winner, with a beautifully strummed acoustic guitar, and very nice tunes emerging from the melodica, a funny little instrument that get its deserved 15 minutes of fame on this album. After this one, though, I must say that the quality slowly falls, and some tracks along
the way are just sleepy and, in the long run, maybe a bit overbearing. This can though be easily forgiven, when splendid ones like "Around Closing Time" and "Another Day" keeps popping up, the later one with a very good duet you should check out. I guess
have to stop talking about the particular tracks now. There are 24 of them, and to give every each one a little mention would make a far too long review. I will simply say that at least 20 of the tracks are
breathtaking and wonderfully crafted modern folk songs clad in nostalgic pants. The deserted feeling, and the cold current that discharges from the intro flows through all the tracks, creating a dead
landscape of sad sounds, chords and tones.
The enthusiasm found in David's voice warms up a little, but the poems he's uttering, some of
the finest salutes to lost love and loneliness I've heard, blackens the atmosphere even more.
"World Winding Down" is an epic masterpiece. Really. Maybe I'm using that word wrong sometimes, but in this case, it's deserved. Thank you David, for
providing the world with such beauty, and thanks also to all the guest musicians that enriched this album even more." Shadows Commence

"From the brief listens we've had in the office, this ambitious double CD opus seems to take its cue from traditional Celtic folk musics and the more experimental production techniques afforded by the growth of new music technologies. By turns melancholic, warm and cinematic, some of the tunes are guitar led with simple melodies backed up with drones, tones, washes of voice and strings with elements of field recordings. The lead singer's voice reminds our man at the helm of Mark Hollis of Talk Talk. For fans of the fashionable trend for folk as much as the droning rock that has come to prominence in the last couple of years. It's a bit long for me as an album and i'm more in favour of the instrumental tracks. A strong collection none the less and a bargain if this is your thing." www.normanrecords.com

World Winding Down is the first release by Agitated Radio Pilot that's not on a CD-R. It's not going to be the project's last one either, but it'll certainly be tough to top.Agitated Radio Pilot are David Colohan and a whole host of guest musicians, often obscure, unsigned fellow folkies. Together on this double album Colohan and friends weave a tapestry of mournful, melodic folk, described on their label's website as "the sound of the forest". That's about right. It's the kind of music that envelops you; this is
the kind of album you can happily get lost in.
There's plenty here to keep things interesting. Though a few songs follow a traditional 'voice-guitar-piano' template (that's not to say they're boring…) there's also ramshackle guitar solos, drone-y
instrumentals reminiscent of Natural Snow Buildings (more of them, perhaps, in a later post), Colohan's deep, sonorous voice and the beautiful harmonies of various guest vocalists. Colohan's downbeat lyrics take centre stage fairly early on. The first track proper (after the brooding instrumental "A Darkness Made Of Beating Wings") is "All That Fall" as over a lyrical guitar line, he intones: "For all the hearts/That have outgrown us over time/Only the ones that we leave/See us as we are inside". If that line has you
nodding along to it's simple wisdom, there's plenty more where that came from among the album's treasure-trove of 24 songs. In a better world, Agitated Radio Pilot wouldn't have to self-release albums on CD-R's, they would be huge. After one listen, you'll have their songs rattling around in your head. "All That Fall", "Caroline Sings", "Around Closing Time" and "World Winding Down"are
all gorgeous songs full of melancholy that deserve to be heard by as many people as possible. Buy this album or download it, just listen to
it. Then tell your friends." www.baywords.com

credits

released 22 November 2007

David Colohan - Voice, Acoustic, Electric & Bass Guitars, Accordion, Mandocello & Melodica with....

1. A Darkness Made Of Beating Wings

Frostwave Resonator, Moroccan & Irish Field Recordings – Gavin Prior, Norwegian Field Recordings – Anders Gjerde.

2. All That Fall

Keyboards – Maja Elliott, Voice – Aaron Hurley, Autumn Grieve.

3. Everybody Lives (Just This Once)

4. Caroline Sings

Electric Guitar – Aaron Hurley, Keyboards – Maja Elliott, Voice – Alison O'Donnell.

5. For Medb

Composed By – David Colohan & Vicky Langan. Frostwave Resonator, Moroccan And Irish Field Recordings – Gavin Prior, Norwegian Field Recordings – Anders Gjerde, Violin – Vicky Langan.

6. World Winding Down

Voice – Aaron Hurley, Maja Elliott.

7. The Gathering Dark

Composed By – Richard Moult.
Piano – Richard Moult, Voice – Alison O'Donnell.

8. You Were Always In My Arms Forever

Composed By – Brian Conniffe, David Colohan, Shane Cullinane. Casio Sk1 – Paul Condon, Bass & Chord Organ – Shane Cullinane, Green Blur & Blue Smoke – Brian Conniffe, Violin – Vicky Langan, Voice – Aaron Hurley.

9. The Life You'll Leave Behind

Accordion & Voice – Annemarie Deacy, Electric Guitar – Aaron Coyne.

10. Mt Argus To Mt Jerome

Composed By – David Colohan & Vicky Langan. Frostwave Resonator & Percussion – Gavin Prior, Violin – Vicky Langan.

11. People Start Over

Voice – Autumn Grieve.

12. Leave The City On Foot

Composed By – Aaron Hurley, David Colohan & Keith Wallace. Norwegian Field Recordings – Anders Gjerde Electric Guitar & Voice – Aaron Hurley, Spectral Guitar & Pedalsmoke – Keith Wallace.

13. On Cape Clear

Composed By – Richard Moult. Piano – Richard Moult, Violin – Vicky Langan, Voice – Larissa Pychlau.

14. Around Closing Time

Violin – Vicky Langan.

15. An Ear To The River

Bass – Aaron Hurley, Voice – Maja Elliott.

16. Take Heed Of Your Hurt

Banjolin & Electric Guitar – James Rider, Voice – Alison O'Donnell.

17. The Lamplit Wood

Accordion & Acoustic Guitar – Shane Cullinane, Moroccan And Irish Field Recordings – Gavin Prior, Voice – Vicky Langan.

18. Another Day

Composed by Roy Harper. Clarinet & Voice – John Cavanagh, Keyboards – Maja Elliott, Voice – Caroline Coffey.

19. Along The Trails Of Midnight Deer

Composed By – Richard Moult. Circuit Bent Walkie Talkies, Frostwave Resonator & Drones – Gavin Prior Norwegian Field Recordings – Anders Gjerde, Piano – Richard Moult.

20. Botanic Avenue

21. The Awakening Clay

Composed By – David Colohan & Vicky Langan. Frostwave Resonator – Gavin Prior, New Zealand Field Recordings – Antony Milton, Violin – Vicky Langan.

22. Earthfasts

Composed By – David Colohan, Gavin Prior & Richard Skelton. Concertina, Guitar & Violin – Richard Skelton, Electric Guitars – Gavin Prior & Shane Cullinane, Voice – Caroline Coffey & Sharron Kraus.

23. Shorelines Clad In Snow

Keyboards & Voice – Maja Elliott.

24. Everything Ends

Composed By – Richard Moult. Norwegian Field Recordings – Anders Gjerde, Piano – Richard Moult.

Mastered By – Gavin Prior.

Photography – Aaron Coyne, Maeve O'Sullivan.

Recorded and mixed between February 2005 & August 2007 in Ballymahon, Mullingar, Galway, Dublin, Corrigeenroe & The Welsh Hills by David Colohan, Shane Cullinane, Aaron Hurley, Richard Moult, Gavin Prior & Keith Wallace.
Additional recording & mixing in Glasgow, Freiburg, Dublin & Standish, England, by John Cavanagh, Larissa Pychlau, Geoffrey Perrin & Richard Skelton.

Deadslackstring – Truenote 10

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Agitated Radio Pilot Ireland

'Colohan seems to have a preternatural sense of the elemental, those dark places we all go to take off our disguises. So many artists have treaded this ground before and seemed insincere, but Colohan's vulnerability, his human voice that presents these unadorned truths without spin or motive, makes me want to listen and believe.' Foxy Digitalis ... more

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