France’s IIKKI has a ninth entry in its series of book-CD combinations. Visual artist Nieves Mingueza produced the former, The Humble Bee & Offthesky the latter. Like the eight releases before it, All Other Voices Gone, Only Yours Remains is described as a “dialogue” between the artists and is meant to be consumed either as a combination or as individual pieces.
The Humble Bee is Craig Tattersall, a one-time member of The Remote Viewer and co-founder of The Boats. Offthesky is Jason Corder, an American with more than 70 albums to his credit.
Together, the two have produced a touching, richly nostalgic recording. Tattersall is on piano, guitar, vibes, synthesizers and tape loops. Corder contributes vibes, and was responsible for the album’s arrangements and mixing.
They’re joined by Cody Yantis on saxophone, Julie Slater on viola, Rin Howell on vocals, Jiah Shin on cello and Esther Hernandez on flute.
While that lineup is suggestive of a new classical recording, All Other Voices Gone, Only Yours Remains is not quite that. The acoustic instruments are blanketed by thick layers of found sounds and digital treatments.
That in itself is not particularly unique. It has become a common approach to recordings of this nature in recent years. But in this case, the quality of the performances provide the album a substantive, layered feel. You’ll find yourself first drawn in by the production techniques, and then captivated by the musicianship.
The book’s creator calls herself an experimental artist who uses photography and other visual media. Mingueza is Spanish born; she calls London home now. IIKKI’s release notes describe her work as “ultimately about the foggy relationship between fiction and reality.” It is an apt metaphor for both pieces of the collaboration.