Memorybell “No Anchor” Reviewed at Echoes and Dust

“I’ve never heard anything by Memorybell or the music of the artist behind the sobriquet, Grant Hazard Outerbridge, but as soon as I saw the cover art and read that it was piano-centered ambient music, I got the sense that I would enjoy No Anchor immensely. The album is compromised of three long-form pieces, with the title track doubling up in length to expand over 40-minutes. ‘Beneath A Soft Clearing’ opens the album with warm, contemplative pads secreting opiate mountains of sedation to battered hungover brains and overworked eyes. Each intermittent piano key stroke, a sunbeam cascading onto an otherwise dismal day. Ambient music is like a balm or a dressing on the acid burn of capitalism; almost anyone can seemingly do it. But, it has an almost divine, transgressive grace to it. It’s a genre of narcotic reprieve, and whilst it means that very few artist’s sit atop the pile as the ultimate high, the vast majority of ambient artists, I tend to enjoy and this is no placebo. This first fifteen minutes of couch-slump, post-dopamine surge tranquillisation is as effective as any other great ambient/drone work in its ability to take the overwhelming chaos of existence and slow it down into gentle manageable waves of time, space, emotion and expectation. The serenity carries over into the sophomore track, ’Soon To Wake’; a track reaching out with tape hiss arms and crackled embracing intentions. These delicate oscillations of noise, like shampoo slowly dissolving between ears and bathwater amidst ovarian peace and comfort. The true beauty of this music is its ability to lure the listener deep into the cosmos of introspection. Its...

Memorybell Interview at Westword

After Grant Hazard Outerbridge released his 2016 debut ambient piano album, Obsolete, under the moniker Memorybell, he started going down the modular-synth rabbit hole. Modules can vary from altering frequency, amplitude and spectrum to dynamic control and voltage, giving a musician a wider set of sonic possibilities. It took the classically trained pianist about two years to find his bearings and work in the modular-synth environment. He equates experimenting with the synths — turning knobs, mangling, altering and smearing sounds — to being a mad scientist. Notes can be sustained or reshaped into resonant impulses, while piano phrases can be bounced between filters and echo into themselves. “It’s like building with Legos, but then you get to listen to your results in addition to looking at it,” he says. It was really intimidating, but it was also super-fascinating and fulfilling. I couldn’t literally not think of something further away from playing the piano. And that’s what I wanted, you know, to force myself to grow as an artist and be able to communicate more complex, interesting ideas.” Not long after getting a handle on modular synths, Outerbridge stumbled across Freq Boutique, a monthly open-mic night at Fort Greene, hosted by WMD, the Denver-based Eurorack modular-synth and guitar-pedal company. Outerbridge became a regular at Freq Boutique and eventually joined the Colorado Modular Synth Society, playing newer ambient compositions that he’d been working on, some of which hushed the crowd. “There were songs where people were dead silent while I was playing,” he says. “That a really crowded bar just goes totally quiet, it’s a feeling that sends shivers down my spine....

Memorybell ‘Sigh of Floes’ Reviewed at Rural Sounds

“Memorybell shares with us his latest single, ‘Sigh of Floes” from his upcoming release, Solace which will be released on october 2nd. The song has a glacial like feeling to it – everything moves into itself at the right moment in time, creating a reflective and introspective piece to get lost within. Taking inspiration from moments of repose, Solace sees Memorybell expand upon the pockets of stillness introduced in Obsolete and enlarge them until one can become lost. Solace explores the kinds of natural phenomena that can calm an anxious mind, such as watching an orange sunrise over snow or sitting alone in a quiet forest. These moments of inspiration provide the core of each song, with a few seconds transformed into expansive meditations.” – Rural Sounds Related Items:Memorybell - Sigh of FloesNew Memorybell Single and Music VideoMemorybell "Solace" Official Release - CD & DigitalMemorybell 'Day Glides After You' Live PerformanceMemorybell Interview at...

“Eat Your Friends” Compilation Reviewed at DOA

“Over almost a decade, Hidden Shoal records developed a reputation as a consistently innovative and experimental music label, giving to us music of remarkable qualities whether it was the instrumental excursions of Gilded, the blissed-out indie of My Majestic Star, the electronica of Marcus Mehr, the alt.folk stylings of Kramies – the HSR list of significant talents was a lengthy one. I say was, as in 2014 or thereabouts, the Hidden Shoal label underwent a reorganisation of sorts, and it began to seem that one of the more influential Australian record labels of the recent past was itself going into hiding. Perhaps so, although only to return refreshed, renewed, invigorated and with its varying artistic visions intact – the Eat Your Friends compilation proves that the Hidden Shoal label is properly with us again. One thing I’ve found when reviewing compilations is that not infrequently, when I put them into my music players, the tracks separate instead of remaining in their album folder, and that has happened with my copy of Eat Your Friends, encouraging me to view each of the tracks as a single release rather than view the album itself as a cohesive whole. Then there’s the fact that only some of its contributors are already known to me and so, ditching some of my preconceptions about what it’s going to sound like, I began listening to the 11 tracks in a random sequence, and prepared for the unexpected. Firstly, there’s singer/songwriter Erik Nilsson’s “Moksha Can Wait”, a song which electronic composer Marcus Mehr has taken and adapted to his subtly developed production sound, a track that begins almost inaudibly and builds to a staggering crescendo of soaring, roaring...

Memorybell’s “Obsolete” Reviewed at Headphone Commute

It’s been a while since I’ve visited the archives of Australian Hidden Shoal label. And, as usual with any label taking curation seriously, it’s easy to pick up the catalog and return to where one’s left off. This time, the imprint releases an album by a classically trained pianist, Grant Hazard Outerbridge, a 40-minute exploration of minimalism, caught in between the ringing out notes. It is this nearly simplistic study of reductionist pianism that has me interested in listening to Obsolete over and over again – after all, I’ve been creating such pieces myself.

Memorybell “Obsolete” Reviewed at Music Won’t Save You

An old piano and two microphones: it is enough, now, for musicians to navigate and young experimenters to create rich sound environments of a variety of different suggestions. In the case of Grant Hazard Outerbridge the concrete elaboration of the formula came to the valley of a thirty-year career and after an episode of transient amnesia, that moved him to reconsider his process of composition in an extremely minimal sense.