Album: Mike Vass Decemberwell, Rusty Squash (Horn)
Eschewing the standard repertoire in favour of original compositions, Vass has created an aural landscape of the Scottish winter.
These are evocative pieces, some with a log-fire warmth, others conveying the cold sparkle of snow in cyclical figures of guitar and cittern. One track uses the actual sound of hailstones on his window as a background percussive texture behind piano and despondent fiddle; another, depicting a frosty park stroll, includes his quiet, jaunty whistling, as if an overheard rehearsal. And in the more complex pieces like "Cycles" and "Hallan", the layering of guitar and fiddle phrases builds up a swirling, dervish quality, as if caught in a blizzard.
Download: Wintro; Cycles; Hallan
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