Land Observations is the musician and artist James Brooks.
2014 see’s the release of The Grand Tour, the follow up to 2012’s critically acclaimed debut album, Roman Roads IV-XI. Where that was concerned with the roads of communication and conquest that stretched across the former Roman Empire and Republic, the new album creates an imaginary travelogue through Western, Central and Southern Europe with reference to the historic Grand Tour.
The album was recorded on the edge of the Bavarian Alps on just one electric 6-string guitar – exploring the potential of the instrument in relation to layers, rhythm, melody and timbre.
Historically The Grand Tour is seen as the beginning of cultural travel and tourism as we have come to know it. The tour’s itinerary was designed to expand minds through experiencing the treasures of European art, music, architecture and topography.
The route that Brooks has taken to reach Land Observations began with Appliance, Brooks was a founding member and guitarist in the band. Appliance ended in 2003, but before that released four acclaimed albums via Mute.
When Appliance disbanded, Brooks took a Masters degree in fine art & has exhibited in galleries such as the Tate Britain, Galerie Laurent Mueller in Paris and Galerie Martina Detterer in Frankfurt, but music remained a constant throughout. In fact, it was while listening to lots of solo guitar, such as John Fahey, or the artists on and influenced by his Takoma label, that Brooks realised that any future endeavours would see him tread a lone path: “I didn’t want to be in a band any more and I became aware that a solo guitar could fill the sound”
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