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Third in a trilogy of albums of library music miniatures from composer and multi-instrumentalist Daniel O’Sullivan (Æthenor, Ulver, This Is Not This Heat, etc) following 2020’s Electric Māyā and 2021’s Fourth Density. For heads, the term “library music” in 2021 might evoke dodgy Italian gray market LPs and crate-diggers hunting for “funky breaks”—but London’s venerable KPM Music is working with groundbreakers like O’Sullivan to open up new avenues for composers to experiment. The fifteen tracks on The Physic Garden are fully-formed and orchestrated compositions, which would be highlights on anyone’s release, never mind as incidental music. Of the music, O’Sullivan says: “The Physic Garden is an album of diverse instrumentals inspired by a swathe of verdant vistas from manicured gardens and follies to urban common land, overgrown and forgotten. Convalescent memories in the shape of psychedelic auditory botanics.”
Key tracks include the droning acoustic folk of the title song; the Canterbury-esque rolling horn and woodwind melody of “Return The Heart” (with expert drum kit from Frank Byng); the prog-ish odd meter interlude “Buttercup Tea”; The quiet ambience and delicate melody of “Dusty Feather:”; and the Eno-like drift of “Vapourer Larvae.”