Exposé Online banner

Tim Bowness / Peter Chilvers — California, Norfolk
(Burning Shed bshed1306, 2002/2013, 2CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2014-01-22

California, Norfolk Cover artCalifornia, Norfolk was a Tim Bowness (No Man, Henry Fool) and Peter Chilvers (Samuel Smiles, Brian Eno) collaboration originally released in 2002. It was Burning Shed’s (which Bowness and Chilvers co-founded) first ever release, available only online in limited numbers with minimal promotion. Nonetheless, it managed to sell out quickly. A follow up was planned but never materialized, short of a collection of alternative mixes and outtakes called Overstrand (2003). Seeing that copies were fetching insane figures on eBay, Bowness and Chilvers decided it was high time to reissue California, Norfolk, and in typical Burning Shed fashion it’s been beautifully packaged as a two-disk set in a hardcover book with expanded liner notes and Carl Glover artwork. This package is about as perfect a documentary about two artists brief but potent partnership as I can imagine. The first disk is the full California, Norfolk album while the second disk contains Overstrand plus two leftover pieces (labeled Sidestrand), and four live recordings. Despite the sprawling nature of the collection, and considering it spans over 10 years of the musician’s lives, there’s a marvelous continuity to it all. Chilvers excels in the sort of minimalist soundscapes that Eno/Fripp fans drool over while Bowness is a master of lyrical story telling. Other than the rhythmic and almost club-y “Criminal Caught in the Crime,” there’s a uniformly somber and reflective wistfulness to the songs. The marriage of Bowness’ ethereal vocal caresses and Chilvers’ modernist textures and processed loops (using mainly keyboards though a diverse assortment of instruments was employed) is a powerful match. Whether the songs are drawn from their work in Samuel Smiles in the 90s, or from an intimate live recording in 2010 it all hangs together and is a textbook example of how to create minimalist yet evocative musical movies.

Filed under: New releases, Reissues, 2013 releases, 2002 recordings

Related artist(s): Tim Bowness

Latest news

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Stips - Egotrip – Originally I thought this album was a throwaway, but a shrewd scheme unfolds after a few passes through the disc. You see, it's interesting how far people stray (or evolve) from seventies roots into a...  (1998) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues