Crows Labyrinth is the musical incarnation of Dutchman Theo Tol. The album "Travels", which is under review here, is composed using only bass guitars and effects. Five of the seven tracks are performed live, in one take, whilst the other two involve either overdubs or more deliberate composition.
What is presented to the listener is a sonic tour de force. Huge echoing soundscapes, short metallic sounds, rhythmic elements, effects loops, distortions, echoes, all are to be found on our sonic "Travels" through this album. To be honest, having listened to it several times now, I'm staggered by what has been produced. I love the fact that so much of it was created live and the deliberations of (over)-production or often unnecessary fiddling about were removed from the process. In a world in which so much is now produced to order or with cynicism, this album is a testament to what can be produced when an expert with his instrument is simply lost in the musical flow.
The vast majority of this album is taken up by six bass guitar soundscapes which each standout as sonic adventures in their own right. These pieces are each between 6 and 11 minutes long. The exception is track 6, Below, which is a more composed bass guitar piece of just over two minutes in length. It adds another sonic ingredient to the tasty pie that Crows Labyrinth serve up here and is by no means out of place.
All in all, I feel that this album would augment any quiet, thoughtful evening. It is rich, deep and interesting. More than that, its actually a treat to listen to and makes your day, or night, better for having done so. Its thoughtful and reflective. Give it a listen - you won't regret it.
Your can hear and download the album at crowslabyrinth.bandcamp.com.