Jonathan Coleclough


Makruna · Minya
Jonathan Coleclough

2004 · CD in trigger case ·
ICR40/Siren 12 · ICR/Siren · UK/Japan · edition of 500


1.   Makruna   (38.20)
2.   Minya   (29.37)
3.   Makruna coda   (1.53)

Thanks to Andrew Chalk, Colin Potter, Nick Arran, Louise Annable and Tim Hill for their contributions to this music.

An earlier version of ‘Minya’ was released as a limited edition CDR.


Jonathan Coleclough has developed a signature technique of blurring, stretching and resonating particular chromatic qualities from acoustic instruments which become the foundation for his shadowy minimalism. The ‘Makruna’ half of this diptych recording is mostly based on the tonalities from a piano, although the presence of saxophonist Tim Hill may provide a clue to the origin of some of the less obvious sounds. Coleclough sets a lugubrious pace for this extended piece with a slow motion loop of low piano note swaddled in the sombre pall of thick reverb. Amid this methodical, oceanic churning, Coleclough extracts molecular bits from that piano plod and elongates them into deep resonant harmonisations with the original notes. Chirping birds, watery percolations, very distant human voices shouting incomprehensibly, and a quiet metallic scraping which resembles two heavy pieces of steel slowly grinding against each other form a rich textural counterpoint to the monolithic weight of Coleclough's processed piano.

‘Minya’ constantly evolves through oxygenated drones which nestle tiny slivers of glistening feedback within a billowing mass of ominous rumblings.
Jim Haynes, The Wire, issue 248, October 2004.

From all the UK drone meisters, I think Jonathan Coleclough is one of the best, with a most diverse catalogue of music available. In this CD he offers two very lengthy tracks that take his sound a little bit further. Whereas until now, much of his music was multi-layered aspects of similar sounds, here he extends his already richly layered sounds by multiple, different layers.

In ‘Makruna’ there is an ongoing deep, repeated bass sound, embedded in stretched out structures with, as icing on the cake, various field recordings of water and rain. Changes are there, but as usual with this kind of music, the developments are slow. However, as said, Jonathan is a meister, and he knows how to keep the listeners attention and prevents from leaping into boredom.

‘Minya’ is not unlike his older work, as here too he works with multiple layers of similar sounds, but unlike his previous work, his sounds are more upfront, more present. Sharply mixed, with lots of attention for colour and detail. Quite a blast!
Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly 439, Sept 2004.

I need the whole of this page to do this justice. Huge, glacial sounds gesturally unfolding, these pieces have the weight, detail and interest of a land-scape. Field recordings, subliminal disturbances and reverberant drones are alchemised; I don’t know if Coleclough has a particular place in mind for these pieces but they conjure environments all the same. Epic.
Andi Chapple, Flux magazine, issue 45, 2004.

MAKRUNA MINYA is a robust blend of drone textures, well crafted and beautifully finished, as with all Jonathan’s work, and it is particularly good to listen to whilst playing backgammon!
Colin Blakey, The Shipbuilders, Sept 2004.

The fences are so high, you can barely see the sky; after the situation has been pondered there's no way to escape. It's better to concentrate and understand: behind the inside darkness, you'll be able to listen to the mere flow of life. ‘Makruna’ by Jonathan Coleclough is just a giant earthly heartbeat masked as an evil thunder; instead, it radiates vital particles constituting the essential vibration of the air we breathe. It's a potent statement, even more concretely significant in relation to other masterpieces of this English sound crafter.

The second half of this great CD presents the stratiform hermitage of ‘Minya’, a cross between the view of rubble in an abandoned city after a bombing and an almost holy vocal fleet, slowly turning towards electronic drifts. Through their peripheral yet seamless diffusion, these sounds renew Jonathan's quest for tangible emotional ordeals, frosting this writer in front of his speakers, waiting for something to bring him back to real life; that something is the final tolling of a moribund bell, with strange voices underneath - an apt conclusion to an emotionally moving record.
Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes, Sept 2004.

The electrified gong that radiates through the beginning moments of ‘Makruna’ and continues through its 38 minute duration marks a phantom presence that galvanizes the whole of these recordings.

‘Makruna Minya’ is a quiet and carefully paced record. ‘Makruna’ reverberates with the humming and quiet pulse of gong, but also bubbles over with the sound of a small creek, the voices of individuals on the street or on the television, stone plates scratching over each other in circular patterns, and the uneasy sound of steam passing complacently through small pipes. The palette of sounds is very natural and, as a whole, the track progresses uniformly with changes taking place on a subconscious level. As the slate rubbing together becomes louder, children laugh and yell very low in the mix, and marbles jumble together in a bag. As soon as the commotion dies away, the sound of the gong has become clearer, the distinct shuffle-and-crack of walking on grass or leaves becomes audible and bird calls shift and stutter in the mix. All of this sounds relaxing on paper, but Jonathan Coleclough has a way with sounds that make them feel positively unsettling. The gong strikes illuminate the surrounding environment and fill the sky up with a dark oil that blocks out the sun and gives the world a blue tint. The children no longer laugh, but sound as if they're crying and the television reports sound frightened, almost paranoid in their delivery. Whatever it is that is happening feels consumingly hopeless.

‘Makruna’ fades away into the orchestral ‘Minya,’ a piece composed of synthetic tones, oceans crashing onto the shore, and the strange distortion of radio signals. The tones on ‘Minya’ are all descending and are, at times, reminiscent of human wails or sorrowful moans. The sounds continuously wash out with each other, each sound following the movement of another until a chorus of whispers and pseudo-screams crash down and reset the pattern. ‘Minya’ is a more physical composition than ‘Makruna’ and it circulates with a heaviness that is almost tangible. ‘Minya’ moves so ferociously that it shakes itself towards its own destruction and by song's end it is reduced to a deep and growling bass tone that has been stripped naked of its previously chaotic glory. One final screech gets away before ‘Makruna Coda’ hushes the album towards its end.

The final sounds are from ‘Makruna’ but are not washed away in a sea of processing. What I thought was a gong is now just a bell and the mysterious voices now sound as though they are being yelled down a tunnel flowing with water. The sounds fade away and leave a deep impression of the last sixty tumultuous minutes that does not dissolve.

After the music has stopped churning, Coleclough’s compositions will thrive and remain in the mind like a residue that grows and grows.
Lucas Schleicher, Brainwashed Brain, August 2004.

Exquisite drones and atmospheres. Tumbling through a langorous loop of deep piano notes entombed in thick washes of reverb, ‘Makruna’ is a much darker album than what Coleclough typically produces. Throughout the pieces, Coleclough extracts fragments of those piano tones and elongates them into sympathetic harmonizations amidst additional textures of metallic scrapings and field recordings of bird choruses.

‘Minya’ is a worthy complement to the bleak isolationism of ‘Makruna’ as shadowy drones flutter amongst subtle feedback vibrations and ominous low-end frequencies.

This is another Coleclough record that comes highly recommended!
Aquarius Records, August 2004.

Have you wondered who decides the velocity of our daily life?

Does someone know the total amount of the time for us to spend for the job which we can, should or try to complete throughout our life?

If he exists, can he calculate the rate of the time spent day by day?

Such a velocity of the life seems to be imprinted as a uniform one in our brain through various types of media around us.

The imprinting would make us blind to the real sensation of the time, we are just as insects caught in the ‘time web’.

‘Wake up, eat, work and sleep...’ Our daily life consists of such a cycle.

Not only the velocity, but also the frequency and the wavelength allowed us to experience have been set in so narrow range in the superficial world.

Is that the reason why we tend to feel daily life so uncomfortable? The velocity of the time for the cycle should not actually be just uniform.

In fact, we should have experienced various frequency and wavelength in our life.

Fortunately, however, we can sometimes figure out phenomena taking place with completely different velocity, frequency and wavelength in our daily life.

Phenomena changing very slowly and gradually are attractive.

Imagine clouds flying the sky, and the velocity of clouds which is not uniform.


Clouds move so slowly in the sky. Unusually slow, when we reflect our velocity in the life...

But, we do not doubt that the cloud velocity does actually exist in this world.

The sense of the velocity and the reality of cloud movement are carved in our memory.

The memory is stabilized in genes which our central nervous system involves.

Furthermore, such genes synchronize with other genes relating to velocity, frequency and wavelength which are hidden on the surface of the world.

The other genes are sometime activated through the listening of music.

Jonathan Coleclough, as well as Andrew Chalk and Organum, provides the music relating to such genes.

And here is an example.


Two tracks of music contained in this CD are sound phenomena changing slowly, gradually and certainly.

The grand and authentic sounds recall us that unusual frequency and the wavelength do exist actually in this world. It simultaneously lights the hidden nature of the power.

One might name this type of power in sounds some ‘mystic’ power.

But, the most appreciable point in these music is that Jonathan makes such a power bloom in the atmosphere of daily life.

He seems to reveal the real power of frequency and wavelength as the harvest in the music from the world.

Here, sounds of water flow and the conversation among people layered with the grand drone do clearly figure how rich the real world is. We meet the harvest of sounds.

Well, Jonathan's music has been called ‘awesome drone core’. It is an attractive naming.

But, the term ‘awesome’ should be carefully used, I believe.

The term should not be used for placing the music at some specific place where we can never easily reach.

Because, the power of his music is nearby us. It is the reason why his music attracts us so much.


Jonathan expresses his acknowledgement to Andrew Chalk, Colin Potter, Nick Arran, Louise Annable and Tim Hill, for the completion of this CD.

Especially, it would be so easy to find that the unique way by Andrew for the sensation of changing time is shared in these music.

If these music attracted listeners, the CD ‘Sumac’ published as a collaboration between Jonathan and Andrew is recommended as the next choice.

Takuya Sakaguchi, Tales from the Sonic Pharmacy, October 2004.