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

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Philharmonie - Nord – Philharmonie was formed as an electric guitar trio by Frederic L'Epee, best known as the founder and leader of the brilliant 70s French group Shylock. After a relatively unknown self-released...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues