Wind and Wire
Auckland-based pianist and keyboard player Alan Brown has a long history of session work – in jazz particularly. He’s toured, been a sideman and he releases his own solo piano endeavours.
I’ve loved recent albums that are on the ambient tip Silent Observer and Composure. Where the mood, there, was generally piano-based with a sprinkling of synth (like a shade-cloth draped atop the sound) much of the music on his latest, Wind and Wire has a darker edge to it; the electronica textures seeping in and across the music.
There’s still piano – and Brown has a way of spacing the notes and letting the music hang there so that you’re caught in its sway (Snowfall At Day’s End) but there are more experimental textures at play here.
I love Entropy with its crepuscular mood that echoes the solo work of Chris Abrahams (The Necks) and suggests ‘sound design’ as much as it does music.
That’s true here across much of this album – it feels at times like an audition for a soundtrack commission. Which is not a bad thing at all. The plaintive voicings of Letting Go, the creeping pulse of Insufficient Data, the subtly ominous build of the title track. I love putting this album on late at night or first thing in the morning and letting the mind wander through whatever pictures stir to accompany this perfectly unsettling musical narrative.
If you’re into instrumental mood music then you’ll want to hear this. And check out Brown’s other work too for some light after much of this shade.
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