The Hand that's Closest the Heart: detailed background notes to the compositions

landschaft 032m

Available to listen to and buy at Bandcamp

Release date: 07 October 2022

Format: digital download. Artwork and typography by Landschaft.

The work explained

Well here we are again, another Landschaft album; no 32m. The 'm' in the serial notes this is a metal leaning album - there will be more! Like my other releases there is a back-story. It's a jigsaw puzzle of influences and references; among them: Killing Joke (layered grind-riffing), Hendrix (in full improv mode)' Section 25 (meanderging, mesmeric), Joy Division (whip-crack snare and punchy kicks), Sleep (Dopesmoker - loud and long), Zappa (complex polyrhythms), Durutti Column (the start and end pieces).

For the first time Landschaft is in classic band format: guitar, bass, drums, synth. No vocals (yet as I don't have a mic).

All of that cooked up into a genre hybrid I could describe as math-rock, ambient doom metal, djent...

Marking that swing in creative direction, this is the first album with me on the cover art, here in nineteenth century trawlerman mode.

The title, 'The Hand that's Closest the Heart', deserves explanation. For anyone wishing to explore the context, see p294/5 of Richard Bradford's biography of Alan Sillitoe, and draw your own conclusions as to how it ties into the Landschaft lens of enquiry.

1. Song for Vini: my reflection on the work of Vini Reilly who inspired me to make music in those farawy Factory days of 'Lips that Would Kiss'. I quote the Vini style here and there.

2. The Hand that's Closest the Heart: album title piece; and 11 minute full-on-metal-fest. The guitaring is multi-layered, all made on my trusty Fender Squier put through amp sims and a big effects stack.

3. In the Dark Pool: This piece has lyrics but I didn't have a mic to hand so it stands as an instrumental (for the time being...) This one is a steady 13 minute, multi-layered slow grind, and of the pieces on this album, is my favourite.

4. Transported: this piece has a lovely fruity big bass. It leans towards Section 25 inasmuch as it is mesmerising and minimal, with bursts of big fuzzy guitar.

5. The Hand that's Closest the Heart - reduction: guitars pushed to the fore in this gritty work-out informed by a 'what are the top 10 most heavy albums of all time' piece on the web that came back with Sleep's majisterial 'Dopesmoker'. This is my response. Helped by copious amounts of compression, limiting, EQing and no dope.

6. Song for Vini - return: a gentle wind down end piece