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Twilight Sequence

Outline of Nature (LP, Dolphin)


Outline of Nature” is the debut album by Twilight Sequence (aka Matthew J Saunders) following the release of a 12” EP and 7” single on Castles in Space, and an EP on his own Bandcamp page. “Outline of Nature” started as an experiment in building a modular synthesizer system and ended up as a voltage controlled outpouring of love for the natural world. Sylvan-born and pastoral-powered, sap-blooded and lightning-charged, this album grew out of the damp florescent corners of the woods, each note and sound, a fractal extension of their seedling sounds.

It was nurtured into being at The Twilight Research Centre, a studio facility situated on the border of Somerset and Dorset. During Covid lockdown 1.0. Says Mtthew, 

"I spent the outdoor hours we were permitted, wandering through the centre's surroundings, in the green lanes, woodlands and corridors of the wilds with their wary and flickering inhabitants, beneath the distant eyes of the soaring buzzards and the hulking red kites. I didn't expect it, but it was in the quiet, ferociously vibrant dens of nature, that I found a deeply profound connection with the natural world. It once again made sense to feel as much a part of the woods as the trees were; I felt like a natural entity in its habitat again, not something I'd properly felt since running wild through the gullies, dells and fells of the Midlands as a child. And I became afflicted with a powerful urge to build strange electronic sound systems that were organic, chaotic, fractal and in some way reflective of the awesome natural systems that surround us and surround the centre. I plugged in the modular, and went searching for signs of life.

Adding to this, just before the lockdowns, I stumbled across a three volume nature encyclopedia in a local charity shop, called “Outline of Nature in the British Isles” by Sir John Hammerton. The sub-heading reads “A Comprehensive Photo-Survey of the Varied Life of Field and Hedgerow, Moor and Mountain, River, Pond and Sea”, and it's a stunning collection of grainy photographs, beautiful illustrations and wondrously poetic writing, some of which inspired track titles and of course, the album title. I also rekindled my love of Ladybird nature books such as the “What to Look for in Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter” series, “Birds and How They Live” and “Butterflies, Moths and Other Insects”, rebuilding a small collection I had as a child and discovering numerous volumes new to me. Between the two literary sources, I had a rich well of imagery, writing and pastoral nostalgia to draw from; and coupled with the extended sessions of blissing out in my own heavily ecstatic awe descended on me in the sheer grandness of the wilderness, I set about enticing out of the woods an album of phosphorescent electrical music, abundant with comparatively microscopic, but persistent and wild life-forces."

Matthew J Saunders has been releasing records since the late '90s on labels such as Earworm, Static Caravan, SpaceAge, Ochre and others, before signing with 4AD with his band Magnétophone in 2000. He has collaborated with Pixie's/Breeders' Kim Deal and Kelley Deal, King Creosote, James Yorkston and Pete Kember (Spacemen 3, Spectrum, EAR) who joined the band as performer and manager. As well as Twilight Sequence and Magnétophone, he has released music as Assembled Minds, The Matthew Machine, Rapid Eye Electronics Ltd. (with collaborators Farmer Glitch and IX Tab), and Veil.

Castles in Space is thrilled to release this wonderfully uplifting album in two coloured vinyl editions with an insert and sleeve designed by the incomparable Zeke Clough


Cat. number: CiS111
Year: 2023