‘Placemaking’ refers to a method of urban regeneration where former industrial and inner-city areas are regenerated by increasing commercial yield through accommodation prices. Thus, the populations that have historically existed in these areas are displaced, as they are replaced with new, faceless collectives of ‘well-heeled’ working professionals. It is a barbaric and violent practice which causes the destruction of cultures, communities, and the erasure of locational histories.
This double album is a journey through the east London docklands in Deep-Time, with compositions rooted in the sonic history and modern soundscapes of each location. Starting in the canals of Limehouse, following the meandering thames to the glassy cityscapes of Canary Wharf, through maritime Greenwich and up to the expansive waterworks of Royal Albert Docks. Each track is an attempt to distill the character and history of the location into an ambient atmosphere for the listener to occupy.
The clean version of the album allows the listener to establish a connection to each of the spaces, to hear them and appreciate them in all their complexity and clarity, before listening to the second half of the project. The second half of the album was recorded onto tape and then bleached. This act represents an aural exploration of the loss of cultures, histories and communities in these areas. The duality of the two iterations of the album evokes the impact and destruction wrought by aggressive gentrification and regeneration across East London. The lush, expansive and intricate sounds of the clean half are marred, mottled and contorted on the second, bleached version. The listener is faced with the loss of these locations’ character and heritage, and this act of listening will hopefully incite empathy and connection to those who have truly experienced this loss first hand.