Manchester’s Borland is Ian Dominic Breen and Robert Gregg. Since 2007, they have released an expansive catalogue of full-length albums, extended players, singles, remixes, split releases and a host of collected works. They have performed live in churches, cafes, bars and houses, drenching audiences in smoke and darkness, bringing their reverb-drenched “goth garage” to life in all it’s loud, mesmerising glory.
During 2012, Borland lost hours, days, weeks and months to the recording of their magnum opus OMAR - a twenty-eight song, two-hour collection divided into four parts. The recording process and subsequent issues regarding its release became fraught with anxiety and problems. The project became overwhelming. In late 2013, the first two instalments of the OMAR project were released, with the intention of it’s concluding chapters to be released shortly afterwards. This did not happen. They found themselves torn apart, exhausted and unsatisfied, uncertain of the next step to take.
The years that followed found both members pursuing new musical avenues - new lives formed and new goals set to achieve. Now, some three years later, Borland find themselves in a position where loose ends are ready to be tied. A series of compilation recordings were created, capturing abandoned recordings and early sessions. Finally, too, the OMAR project comes to its natural and extraordinary conclusion.
Some masterworks combine elements found throughout an artists entire history. OMAR, however, forges its own unique path - pushing Borland’s sound into unchartered terrain. Lovelorn vocals drowned in reverb and effects, grand pianos crash against icy synths and distorted bass lines, whilst songs climb into emotional crescendos and crumble into darkness often simultaneously. The music is humanistic yet extra-terrestrial, claustrophobic yet open - with eyes aimed at the sunlit horizon yet opting to take a detour into the darkness of the forest.
Recorded largely at Robert’s parents home in Manchester, with many hours spent on location recording pianos, vocals and field recordings, OMAR equally fixates on perfection and meticulous detail as it does on chance and accidents. Much of OMAR 1 and 2 focussed on precision and minute details, whereas OMAR 3 and 4 allow the sound to form organically and strangely. Notably, the vocal line for “Roads Leading To Nothing” was improvised and recorded in a single take during a rain storm - the vocals were recorded outside and as the song reaches its apex you can hear the storm clear and birdsong begin as the warmth returns.
Allow yourself to be taken over by OMAR. Submit and join us on the other side.