Richard Francis, bio, discography, bandcamp, contact


Richard Francis
'Warmth' CD
Released by CMR, New Zealand, 2012

Liner notes:
"Recorded Jan – Feb 2012, edited Mar - Apr 2012. Equipment: modular synth, computer, field recordings, looper, edirol recorder"


"Set of studio recordings from NZ sound artist Richard Francis who has worked with Bruce Russell (The Dead C) and Mattin and who was partways responsible for the recent book on the NZ underground, Erewhon Calling: recorded and edited in early 2012 using modular synth, computer, field recordings, looper and edirol recorder, Warmth presents a series of fuzzy transports with deep/dead bass tones pulsing under crackling electricity and the sound of echoing subterranean pathways. There are aspects of dub in the application of deep bass but this is a form of heavy, static dub, with single note drones over icy blasts of nothing but ghost tone and hallucinatory currents. Indeed, at points it feels like scanning the most lunar extremes of shortwave radio and coming across internally coherent and uncannily organised broadcasts of composed tone that could only be covert or alien or both. Uniquely disturbing, very eerie electronic music put together with an advanced/higher minded feel for compositional (il)logic."
Volcanic Tongue, Scotland, 2012

"Following his involvement with 'Erewhon Calling', a book on the New Zealand underground music scene (see Vital Weekly 846), Richard Francis embarked on a small tour in Europe, to record and play music live, among other things to celebrate his release with Mattin, which we no doubt will review soon also, but also to point out he has a new solo CD. I was able to observe his small but very flexible set-up at a very close range. A modular synth is fed into a laptop, where it is processed on the spot through a whole bunch of plug ins, free software and such like, and field recordings are waiting to further transform the material. Richard told me that more and more he breaks away from layering the cake, i.e. putting pieces together through a time consuming method of placing them in a multi-track program, and rather sketches out a few ideas for a 'song' (his words), of which he records various takes and then selects the best one to release. That may seem also a bit time consuming, I should think, but apparently he usually does four or five takes, or else abandons the whole idea. A relatively easy set-up, but it works wonderfully well. In these hands it gets melted into a fine, delicate mass of sound. Not necessarily, however, of a very quiet kind. The static and hiss that opens 'Rivet' is surely more noisy than you would expect. Richard Francis plays minimal music, in which a few sounds meander about, a tick, a crackle, maybe one or two drones. This music has an interesting vibrancy - not exactly composed, but perhaps also not entirely improvised anymore, but falling somewhere between the cracks of improvisation/composition. It's music with a delicate tension, music which has indeed a certain amount of 'warmth', as the title says, but perhaps that refers to the summer period January-February 2012 when this was recorded. It's perhaps a bit short, with twenty-six minutes, as I surely would have loved some more of this, but nevertheless, it's a great CD"
Vital Weekly, The Netherlands, 2012