June 20, 2012

Royal Horticultural Society

When I read the title of Dutch producer David Douglas' debut EP Royal Horticultural Society I imagine the google image search results for "royal horticultural society" gradually being thinned out by repetitions of the cover graphic above at various sizes. Names like that, you have to wonder whether or not Douglas will give the charity a run for its web metrics. That sounds too confrontational though, given Douglas' inspiration; the Scottish botanist and explorer of the same name (for whom the Douglas-fir is also named, incidentally) so the reference comes off as a pleasant sort of bourgeois allusion to the structures suggested by the RHS itself; it's order more than its purview seems to resonate in Royal Horticultural Society. Douglas himself calls it "electronic music for the mind", though the notes for the release suggest that "the greatness of nature - sublime mountain landscapes, Icelandic lupine fields, arctic coastlines, Californian fir forests" invigorates "his music", so the connection is two fold and more or less palpable in the way the release has been handled. The EP's strong conceptual link to nature themes emerges in snippets; stark drones on "Lupin Interlude", followed by the moody atmospheres of "Mauna Kea", named for the Hawaiian volcano where Douglas, the Scot, was found dead. A beautiful first release.

Stream: David Douglas, Royal Horticultural Society

Buy the album from Douglas' label Atomnation.

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