The Towers I: Inaccessible is an atmospheric exploration of Guernsey inspired by a series of towers that stand just out of reach. Field recordings, cello, cor anglais, spoken word and ambient electronica come together on this journey around Flexagon’s island home. Locations long abandoned come back to life and local landmarks tell new stories in this stunning album.
Flexagon’s 2020 album 7 Nocturnes East was firmly rooted in Guernsey’s coastal landscape. Since that release he has continued to work on location-based environmental music, sound art and installations both in Guernsey and remotely for projects based on places and field recordings in Wales and the Antarctic.
On The Towers I: Inaccessible, the first of a trilogy, he explores and provides a soundtrack to eight locations around the island and their history: a folly, a brutalist WWII observation tower, a Loophole tower, a windmill, a clock tower, trees used as lookout posts by German soldiers during the Occupation, a communications tower with a Cold War legacy and a concrete water storage tower. Some are familiar sights while others are hidden in plain view; all are usually off limits to the public.
Along with electronic ambience, Flexagon has written for solo cor anglais and cello, recording them together outside on location. He has also experimented with FM and shortwave radio, recorded in a clock tower, re-created the sound of hammering metal rungs into a tree, and made field recordings under a WWII observation tower and a concrete water tower. The spoken word track spans more than 200 years of Guernsey’s rich history.
The Towers I: Inaccessible’s combination of lush downtempo grooves, Vangelis-like soundscapes and environmental ambience make this sonic exploration of Guernsey’s landscape and history a welcome addition to the pantheon of location-specific albums.
1. Gazing At The Towers
2. Ozanne Tower: The Folly
3. Fort Saumarez: MP2
4. Loophole Tower No.10
5. Le Mont Saint Windmill
6. St James Clock Tower
7. The Last Trees
8. Communications Tower
9. Water Tower