Release Date: May 4, 2018
Record label: Sonic Cathedral
Genre(s): Electronic, Ambient, Downtempo, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Dream Pop
In the days before map reading was a task assigned purely to satellite navigation, the Ordnance Survey reigned supreme when it came to a day out in the UK. Their beautifully rendered maps were guaranteed to cover every nook and cranny of the British countryside, with no annoying voice to remind you if you went wrong. Mark Peters and Sonic Cathedral are tapping into that sense of direction and discovery once again with Innerland, a lovingly packaged debut solo release that further exploited 1980s memories with a limited edition release on cassette for its shortened version last year.
Mark Peters is best known as the mastermind behind London-based dream pop group Engineers, but he's also recorded two full-lengths of shimmering, downtempo instrumentals with Ulrich Schnauss (who is also a member of Engineers), as well as chilled-out pop albums with Elliot Ireland and another fellow Engineer, Matthew Linley (as Salt Rush). Innerland is Peters' first true solo album, and it's a set of evocative instrumentals titled after various landmarks located in his native North West England. Originally issued as a cassette in a "small-scale version" in late 2017, the album gained two cuts for its 2018 "large-scale version.
With its ordnance survey-themed art and track titles like Windy Arbor and Cabin Hill, it's easy to see what Mark Peters is going for here: 'Innerland' is an atmospheric meander through the mind's woods, fields and holloways. 'Shaley Brow' is especially lovely, all downcast piano and shimmering pads - somehow, it sounds precisely like a wet wood after a storm. 'Windy Arbor' is also full of bucolic beauty, its opening synth lines bringing 'Campfire Headphase'-era Boards of Canada to mind.