Andy Goldsworthy and Jackson Pollock, Entropy and Complexity Theory.
At this point, Ross Tones, more commonly known as Throwing Snow, can really do no wrong.
Less than a year after his Axioms EP blew us all away, he’s back with a new full-length on Houndstooth. Tones has made a name for himself making some of the most varied and intriguing electronic music currently being produced. Never willing to rest on his laurels however, Embers represents some of his most challenging work to date. That’s by no means a criticism, over the course of the the LP’s 60-minute run time, the album contorts and billows into every shape and sound imaginable. Twisting from floating synths to dark oppressive bass lines to joyously shuffling drum hits and back again, often within a single song. It is a tour de force of complex, captivating electronic music, and something we desperately needed some more insight on.
In order to break down his influences for the album, both musical and non-musical, Tones shared with us the destructive and the beautiful elements that inspired him: including snowflakes, Steve Reich, and the power of entropy.
“After watching and reading these links, I hope the meaning behind Embers will come more in to focus” – Throwing Snow.
1. The Secret Life of Waves
I’ve mentioned this before but the end of this amazing film is truly profound and moving.
2. Barbarian Sound Studio
Everything I love all in one film. The aesthetic and mood are perfect… This made Toby Jones one of my favourite actors (and The Detectorists).
3. The Science of Snowflakes
This was the basis of my Axioms EP and I have explored it further in Embers.
4. Andy Goldsworthy
Not only are his works amazing, but his approach and affinity with the underlying structure of nature, and how he can interact with it, are inspirational.
5. Koyaanisqatsi (RORSCHACH VERSION)
Another inspiration behind the aesthetic of both the tone and videos for Embers
6. Steve Reich
I think my love of Reich’s music will be very apparent in the tracks ‘Helical’, ‘Cosms’ and ‘Pattern Forming’.
7. Will Plowman – Mulavegur
Will is a good friend and his approach and methodology were a big help while planning the recording. I highly recommend checking out his website www.willplowman.com.
8. Complexity Theory
I’m obsessed with the interrelations between cycles, I think it isn’t taken seriously enough in every aspect of life. When you change your perspective to see things as a system, you begin to see things like pre election polls as truly dangerous and divisive influence.
The tracks in the album grow, live and then die, only to be born afresh in a different form. This plays with the idea of entropy, but also I hope the vinyl format holds true to this concept. Because the album is designed to be played on record in a continuous loop….theoretically the vinyl quality would get worse and worse until it becomes unplayable and dies.
10. Jackson Pollock
I love this analysis of his work, he inspired the introduction of randomness to certain parameters on the album such as the melodic arpeggios.
11. The Righteous Mind
Just as an footnote
Embers is available now, get it here.
Featured image: Jimmy Mould