7balcony is an experimental electronic music duo initiated by composer-performers Richard Stenton (Birmingham) and Zach Dawson (Shropshire). Their self-titled debut record features composed, notated electronic music specifically created for and performed by the duo. It represents an output synthesising a focus on classical performance practice with computer controlled outcomes through processes of durational and musical automation.
The duo have carved an aesthetic grounded in distinct references to historical periods, New and Experimental musical practices, decontextualised ancient religious music, and a dystopian sound world where machine automation dictates and controls musical performance. Encapsulated within this world the listener finds lo-fi recorded samples, MIDI and scored music specific to detuned vintage synthesisers. The pieces featured on the album stem from particular contexts, though carefully curated and conceptualised to both compliment and contrast individual aesthetic and stylistic qualities.
The name 7balcony comes from Ed Ruscha’s 1984 oil painting The Music from the Balconies in which the phrase “the music from the balconies nearby was overlaid by the noise of sporadic acts of violence” is lifted from J.G. Ballard’s dystopian novel High-Rise (1975), and painted in a clean, modern font on top of a landscape grassland scene, jarring the context for a dark futuristic urban environment with pastoral abstract art.
1) vertical cities
3) st. vitus
4) forever grave
6) nobody's here but everybody's listening
7) lo gloss
8) you won't make it back
9) microphones hanging from tall buildings
Richard Stenton synthesisers
Zach Dawson synthesisers
Christina Jones vocals
'Richard Stenton and Zach Dawson, AKA Birmingham duo 7Balcony, create otherworldly soundscapes using vintage synthesisers and field recordings. Their eponymous debut NMC Recordings is precise and metrical, referencing ancient devotional music and dystopian science fiction' The Guardian
All tracks recorded by Zach Dawson and Richard Stenton in Birmingham and Shropshire, UK.
LUKE MORRISH-THOMAS producer/mastering
Catalogue number: BRC013
Release date: 24 September 2021