Ross grew up on a huge variety of music from traditional folk songs to reggae and hardcore, and was also influenced by punk and UK metal in the northern wilderness of England. Though an astrophysics graduate, he always wanted to concentrate on music, and the sonically striking 11 track LP follows a run of acclaimed releases put out since 2007 for the likes of Local Action, Ho Tep, Sneaker Social Club and his own Snowfall imprint, and a stint at the revered Red Bull Music Academy in New York last year. Live, Tones is also accomplished, having made numerous Boiler Room appearances and supported the likes of Bonobo, Atoms For Peace and Jon Hopkins. He is also co-owner of record labels the Left Blank and A Future Without, using his accrued industry knowledge to help launch the careers of now established artists Vessel, Wife, Visionist, Lorca, Memotone and Young Echo, and records as Snow Ghosts with vocalist Augustus Ghost.
"It's little pieces of the music I love combined to form a coherent whole. Elements of folk and real instruments combined with drum funk, electronica and samples. I don't feel I'm in any way using one influence in any of the tracks, more bringing disparate elements together as a collage. Each part is distinct but when bought together there is a bigger picture that the listener can find points of reference." Throwing Snow
The artist sought variety not only in the production and overall instrumental sound of his tracks, but also by changing the shape of his record by adding a multitude of vocalists who form a key part of Mosaic. Adda Kaleh appears again on the more introspective but nonetheless D&B tinged album cut ‘Maera’ while Kid A’s mesmerizing, haunting vocals grace the appropriately named ‘Hypnotise’. ‘The Void’ features rising UK talent Jassy Grez declaring “I don’t want forgiveness” to heart-trembling effect and Py’s pitched down tones meld with delicately building layers of feedback and murky beats on ‘As You Fall’.
And on a non-lyrical collaboration, save for some ghostly sighs, Tones’ fellow RMBA alumni, US duo KNOX, guest on the atmospheric ‘Draugr’ which evolves from sparse, icy chimes to a percussive maelstrom, its dying breath giving way to album closer ‘Saltare (Parts 1 & 2)’, the latter forming an uplifting melody-led conclusion to this evocative patchwork of sounds and atmospheres.
In as much as earlier EP Pathfinder was intended to be listened to on journeys, Mosaic is very much a continuation of this feeling, as the overall sound and feel matters more than the pinpointing of any one genre. As with Pathfinder, the titles on Mosaic are meant to reflect the music itself, as ‘The Tempest’ builds and roars into a stormy oblivion before ‘Linguis’ whirls with layers while also reflecting the Latin meaning for tongues or languages and nodding to Steve Reich’s evolving rhythmic patterns. The album also reflects an interest in mythology, from ‘Maera’ (Icarus’ hound in Greek myth) to ‘Draugr’ (‘the walking dead’ in Icelandic,) further indicating the full, rounded quality to Mosaic, an impressive debut from one of the UK’s most unique electronic artists.
Order the double LP vinyl (cut to heavyweight 180g vinyl by Matt Colton) from this store and receive free WAV files.
- The Tempest (feat. Adda Kaleh)
- Hypnotise (feat. Kid A)
- As You Fall (feat. Py)
- The Void (feat. Jassy Grez)
- Maera (feat. Adda Kaleh)
- All The Lights (feat. Russell Morgan)
- Draugr (feat. KNOX)
- Saltare (Parts 1 & 2)