The Angling Loser – Author of the Twilight (2013)

Author of the Twilight, the Angling Loser‘s album from 2013, was a happy and coincidental find: for the release of their follow-up album Arena of Apprehension in 2016, …txt recordings sent out a promotional email with some free-download codes for Author of the Twilight, and that’s how I ended up with both albums (and in case you’re wondering, I think “Author…” is better than “Arena…”).

The Angling Loser is a collaboration of Lee Anthony Norris and Sir Cliff. While Norris is well known for his electronic music output (Norken, Autumn of Communion, Metamatics, and many, many others), Sir Cliff appears almost enigmatic by comparison. 🙂 Author of the Twilight is very much on the ambient side of Norris’ musical spectrum, and in a way, it is both a typical ambient record, and an atypical one as well. That’s surely one reason why it stood out too me, and why I consider it a worthy addition to my personal “Best of Ambient” box (albeit the box is only virtual, here on this blog).

Fitting for certain types of ambient, the music contains field recordings of bird songs, cawing crows, calmly spoken word (bits and pieces about angling) with a nice British accent, the sounds of wind, waves and murmuring water. Layered with droning and beautifully textured synth pads are, somewhat unusually, repetitive patterns of acoustic and bass guitar. Sometimes a more complex little melody surfaces, but mostly the guitar parts feel like almost idle strumming, which fits the mood and theme of the album very well.

Dive right in and listen to the opener “Dawn” and you will get the essence of this album’s appeal. Over the course of tracks three through five, things get darker and feel more nocturnal. The beginning of track six is always a surprise and most joyous moment – out of the darkness of track five “Night” emerge the familiar sounds of “Dawn” in a reprise and the album comes full circle.

I love to listen to this album late at night when it’s dark – it has all the good contemplative and meditational qualities that I’m looking for in ambient music.

Buy: used only, on (if a copy goes up for sale, that is)
Download & Stream: Bandcamp
Stream: Soundcloud