Concrete Island, music by The Heartwood Institute & Hawksmoor. 'Our collaboration was initiated in February 2020, on the cusp of what would become a historically fateful year. We began with no rules and by sharing files, which could range from a modular loop to a bass line, melody or rhythm track, or something more realised that needed a fresh pair of ears to deconstruct and re-work it. Eventually something cohesive began to take shape. It wasn’t always an easy listen and frequently the results thrown up by our musical game of Exquisite Corpse took the initial ideas on unexpected tangents. Over the course of a year, however, we consolidated and trimmed down a decent collection of material to an album length.
Possibly in reaction to our own personal circumstances and living through 2020, thematically the music sounded brutalist, even harsh in parts. But there were still places in which the verdant shoots of melody could break through, like the central reservation of a motorway reclaimed by nature. Given this, J.G. Ballard’s Concrete Island provided a natural thematic choice and narrative arc on which to hang such music. Our compositions began arriving, or maybe crashing, at a junction where motorik electronica blended with the post-punk aesthetic of dub bass lines and fractured synths.
The tracks on the album now play like filmic snapshots of scenes, capturing our ‘arrogant protagonist’ escaping the city, crashing and burning – and then attempting to negotiate and escape from the concrete landscape.'