Combinations 2 CD
Released by Glistening Examples, USA, 2015
"Recorded at various times between September 2013 and March 2015 in Auckland (at home), Rotterdam (at Worm) and Worpswede (at the Künstlerhäuser Worpswede). Mixed between April and August 2015. Thanks to Creative New Zealand for help with travel."
"Richard Francis was also once part of the residency projects Brombron, in which people work together. In those days Francis was much more into the world of laptops and digital sound processing, but when I met him again in 2012 he was already (early I guess) into using a small modular synthesizer set-up. He was traveling from place to place and recording with his mobile set-up, perhaps adding instruments and sounds as he found them; one of these places is Worm, in Rotterdam, these days the guest of the CEM studios, with a beautiful ancient synth set-up. So all of that in combination with each other. Richard Francis might not be someone whose name is easily recognized these days, but before working under his own name he worked as Eso Steel and ran the CMR and 20city labels. These eight pieces here have little to do with the old Eso Steel sound, but very delicate modular poems. All of these relatively short, which is a pity. The album clocks in at twenty-seven minutes, which prompted me to play the whole album again, straight away. Francis’ pieces are lovingly minimal. He sets a few sounds in motion and just let’s these intertwine with each other. Sometimes it cuts out quite abruptly, but that adds to the surprise of this all. When you play this softly there is an excellent ambient to feel it, and if you decide to turn up the volume a bit more, things start to pleasantly buzz and ring, becoming perhaps all a bit vaguely more industrial. This is an excellent release with only one shortcoming: it’s way too short. I really wouldn’t have minded to have fifty minutes of this!"
Vital Weekly, The Netherlands, 2016