Front and Follow present A City Remembrancer, the debut album front Shape Worship aka Ed Gillett.
Ed Gillett has been working under the name Shape Worship since 2011. His debut releases (the Observances EP on Exotic Pylon and the Throughways 7" on Gang of Ducks) weaved dense layers of foggy ambience and rich melodicism around rough-hewn, dancefloor-inspired rhythms.
With A City Remembrancer, Gillett pushes his sound into bold new territories. Inspired by the shifting histories of London’s physical spaces, the album is both a beautifully detailed piece of sound and a nuanced, politicised eulogy to the city and its inhabitants.
Field recordings and vocal samples paint a rich portrait of London as a gigantic palimpsest, constantly being rewritten or renewed; from the postwar utopianism of Brutalist architects, and the plight of residents now being evicted from those same monolithic estates, to ancient burial grounds dislodged by new Crossrail tunnels, or secrets being recovered from the mud of the Thames.
Those voices emerge from a rich sonic backdrop: clouds of billowing synths and digital textures wrap around clarinets, pianos & dulcimers, or are underpinned by fierce drum programming and oppressive bass weight; modular synth experiments blur into minimal composition and pounding techno, the album’s dense collage of sounds reflecting the disorientation, beauty and verticality of the city itself.
“Each track is fleshy, a rich sensory experience, whether it’s a beatless interlude or a more robust workout. But it also stems from a knack for marrying the synthetic—bold, pearlescent synth leads and arpeggios, ample sub-bass—with the organic, particularly samples of non-Western instruments.” – Resident Advisor (on Observances)
“Shape Worship’s latest single may be house music in the technical sense, but elements of dub, IDM and ambient come through as strongly as its four-to-the-floor backbone. The warm beat of “Throughways” pulsates like thickened liquid, overlain with gossamer textures and wistful pads.” – Resident Advisor (on Throughways)