Pairing the ethereal tones of electric violin with the drones of synthesized sound and subtle acoustic instrumentation and vocals, is the musical challenge faced by London/Sydney duo Sound, who comprise violinist/composer Mee, and keyboardist/composer Philip Clemo. The title of the album itself gives an evocative idea of the soundworld contained there: a textural experimentation, with layers of different sounds, light percussion and a fluttering filigree of melodic and harmonic violin. The effect is melancholy, with the drifting aural imagery conjuring a romantic yearning quality, a Coleridge opium inspired Xanadu, a misty morning on the beach, a return to the fabled Avalon. On the opening track ‘Metal on Water’, the strands of the melodic and rhythmic lines slowly intermingle to provide a truly hypnotizing trancelike mellowness which ultimately sets the tone for the rest of the album. ‘Fade’ is an inspired vocal, with a lovely vocal performance by Kiva, and ‘Tokyo Underground’ weaves Philip Glass-like lines over softly peeling bass notes, singing violin and solitary piano strokes. Beautiful music. ‘Pepsi in Burma’ sets a Miles-ish muted horn in with the violin and some tapping tablas, ‘The Artist Dreams’ creates a dense web of echo and drone; with the addition of loose drumkit on ‘Indian Red’ and ‘Emerald’ the pulse quickens a little, but the submerged organ chords on the closer still retain the moody feel. An incredibly beautiful CD which is well off the beaten track.
Andrew Rawnsley, XL8R, USA