AD MUSIC Out now
David is possibly the best known British exponent of the type of Electronic Music that came to attention through German bands such as Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze or Popol Vuh. He runs his own label and organises an annual EM festival. He’s worked with a number of collaborators and each bends his music slightly to a different shape. This is one of the shapes I prefer and you could do worse than check out his compilation, Stranger Days (though only to pinpoint your next album to check out).
I like an album that is consistent in tone, especially when it is one of this style, where it’s likely to be a mood-setting accompaniment to part of my day. It’s definitely rich in content, so I hesitate to call it ambient, but there is no doubt you’ll use it as a tool to soundtrack part of your day. It’s a spacey journey through the oceans and interstellar space.
The album opens with slow deep sounds, washes of bass. It develops gently and progresses through a musical journey. A filmic journey. A fiddle sounds in the distance, scratchy and real-sounding as the sequencers make patterns on a musical lake. The fiddle sweetens to a melodic and typically David Wright line.
A breathy female voice (Carys) singing vaguely middle-eastern melodies arrives with chugging synth rhythms. Now we are up to full power for Ocean To Stars. Vangelis-type melodies and keyboard sounds play their part. Some of the melodies are a little sweet for my taste compared to the old German Kosmische Musik bands that I like but are not out of step with today’s European EM sounds. In fact, they carry more depth than their European contemporaries.
Big synth rhythms feature alternately and a variety of instruments take lead melodies. Carys reappears with wordless song that reminds me of the Hiawatha segment of Mike Oldfield’s Incantations. Whales Weep Not has breathy spoken word from Carys atop a distant male chorus – it recalls aspects of post-rave chill band, Enigma. Then it is back to sweeping tunes and finely-tooled machine beats and a final build up to big wordless chorus.
This is an album for sinking deep into a thoughtful state with. It paints in broad strokes and sweeps confidently through the places between places, the wide oceans and the dark of space. It’s a bit trippy, a bit hippy and most definitely an album out of step with time and place.