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Stylus - Eisteddfod

There's a real sense of beauty to the work of Stylus, the project of Dafydd Morgan. Eisteddfod is based around a 2002 live set performed at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, in Pembrokeshire, taken from rehearsal tapes and a Welsh internet radio session. Its focus is on an isolated and desolate Seaweed Collecting hut in the cold winter months.

Environmental sounds predominate but wavering drones, delicate piano passages, rhythmic interludes and soft loose basslines accompany them. Experimental and analogue touches abound but the recurrent use of windswept and birdcalls maintain cohesiveness through to 'Migration' where a solemn Welsh vocalist closes this in brittle fashion. The remaining session tracks whilst using similar sound sources are more produced but the voice samples are incongruous with the mood of beauty and desolation that precedes it. Eisteddfod would have been a stronger and more coherent album had these been omitted.

I'm only familiar with one previous Stylus album (Pedwar released via Fourth Dimension and Ochre Records) and would have missed this stunning piece of work - originally intended to accompany a Stylus remixed by EAR release - hadn't it dropped into my mailbox courtesy of Irrational Arts. For more information go to