Monday, 20 April 2015

Another Fine Day 'A Good Place To Be' Review

Artist: Another Fine Day

Title: A Good Place To Be

Label: Interchill

Released: 24th April

Tom Green first broke into the music scene in 1979 with the post-punk band 'Dum Dum Dum' and went onto work with a variety of artists throughout the eighties. In his spare time he experimented with computer music which led to working on five albums by the Orb.

His first release under the guise of 'Another Fine Day' was in 1993 on Beyond Records 'Ambient Dub Vol 3' soon followed by the album 'Life Before Land' (which was voted 3rd in the Independent's chart of all-time ambient albums). The project caught the ear of Big Chill founder Pete Lawrence who was so impressed he booked Tom 15 times in a row for the Big Chill Festival.

His second album 'Salvage' was released by Six Degrees in 2000 and the EP 'Chasing Tornados' in 2004. Since then Tom has worked on TV, Film music and for sound libraries as well as co-producing for Baka Beyond and playing the array mbira as a member of 'Newanderthal'.

This latest release begins with 'Nature Boy' a combination of field recordings with the emphasis on sparse jazz piano which epitomises perfectly lazy Sundays by the beach. 'A Dream Of Seals' in contrast is a more sequenced melodic piece introducing percussion mid-way. While 'Child's Play' is a melodic ambient piece where the array mbira provides a music box like quality behind the piano.

'Spanish Blues' meanwhile conjures up visions of smoky jazz bars with a combination of piano keys, sax and subtle used of hammond organ'esque sounds. 'Naiad' on the other hand begins with sparse piano before mellow beats and electronica add a slight bounce to the track. 'Enfolded' is a more atmospheric ambient piece with understated choral elements which completely immerses you into a chilled state.

The sparse piano theme continues with 'I Can Hear You Heart' alongside a slow plodding beat, mellow synth's and melodic array mbira. 'That Path' combines classical piano with laid back synth's sinking you further into the sofa. Then 'Dusty Feet' lifts the mood slightly with a combination of piano, array mbira and African percussion.

Gentle acoustics join the piano alongside down-tempo electronic beats and bleeps in 'From Tiny Acorns'. Whilst 'Andy Woz Here' is an atmospheric drone of electronics and field recordings. The album finishes with the aptly named title track 'A Good Place To Be' which in reality is an elongated outro of sparse piano chords with a classical feel.

Review by Woodzee


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Don Peyote 'Blue Lotus' Review

Artist: Don Peyote

Title: Blue Lotus

Label: Don Peyote Recordings

Released: 1st May 2015

It's been a while since Yvon Mounier (Don Peyote)'s last release 'Heaven and Earth' in 2012 and this latest offering of tribal instruments, Amazon forest field recordings and multi-layered synthised drones provides a deeply meditative, shamanistic soundtrack which he recommends is listened to in one sitting in a darkened meditative environment.

The journey starts with the aptly titled 'Beginnings' where rippling waters and bird song are soon accompanied by an ambient drone which is a quick introduction to the excellent 'Deep Earth Groove' where Byron Metclafe's frame drums, rattles and clay pot provide a ritualistic background for Ganga Giri's didgeridoo.

'Liquid Chimes' provides a brief and haunting interlude of synths, chimes and field recordings before 'Ripples and Mist' adds a dark foreboding ambient drone to the sounds of the rainforest. This darkness is soon compensated by the incantation like mantra of the late Hermana Maria Luisa Tuesta Flores in 'La Madre Icaro' icaro's are shamanic chants which are believed to offer protection, evoke spirits or healing, learnt from the spirits themselves with the aid of ayahuasca.

Eerie ethereal synths join the rainforest field recordings in 'The Way Of Light' pave the way for the title track 'Blue Lotus' where rain sticks, shakers and wooden frog underlay Dan Richardson's bamboo flute, the central piece in this slow paced and deeply meditative excursion which co-incidentally is the longest section of the composition.

'Thunder In The Forest' provides a brief interlude of chimes, drones and field recordings before Dan Richardson's bamboo flute is employed again in shorter but equally beautiful 'Heart Flute in A min' which leads into the gentle incantations of 'Ocanocanoe Sacred Song' which I assume is another Icaro. The final piece of the journey is a mellow combination of deep ambient synths and field recordings entitled 'Onward' indicating it's not an end to the journey but rather a beginning.

Review by Woodzee