Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Reflections (From Taking Flight) By Julie Hanney Written by Steve Sheppard

 


Reflections (From Taking Flight)

By

Julie Hanney

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

Julie Hanney has been in a fine vein of form over the last couple of years, and her muse has created some of the most atmospheric solo piano you are likely to hear. On this brand new track entitled Reflections from her EP Taking Flight, Hanney explores the more imploring narrative of memory and reflective energies.

This is a beautifully played and performed offering; its mood seems to dance with the cadence of the day, and in between the tick and tock of an unrelenting clock, her piano creates scenes of sparkling oceans, and long passed memories of walking along the beach of forever. Hanney has indeed manifested a wonderful composition here, it is one that captures the heart as well as the ears, and leaves the senses totally satiated. 


Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Sonic Light By Jacquelyn G. Kleine

 


Sonic Light

By

Jacquelyn G. Kleine

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

It is always a delight to listen to a beautifully produced ambient music album; this genre is a great peace maker, one that manifests oceans of calm to get lost within, and on Sonic Light by Jacquelyn G. Kleine the artist has created a veritable sanctuary of tranquillity to willingly drift with.

The very opening track gives us a great hope of peace and serenity and is a wonderful tapestry of what is to come, the title track for me is always special, and as such Sonic Light is a weave of wonderful electronic ambience, and a manifestation of smoothness and fluency.

There are seven exciting tracks on this album, and on Liquid Sound we can hear the stylish and natural flute presentation, one that floats through the forest as if on a mid-summers night’s dream, while pieces like Elderspeak have an ancient vibrancy about its construction, one with a pulsating electronic rhythm that plays throughout the eons of time.

Lemuria: Symphony of the Dolphins was one of my favourite pieces, its new age roots were firmly established in this piece, and it greatly reminded me of when Kevin Kendle joined Llewellyn to give us Journey To Atlantis, that vast roaming quality of ambience was there within this track, one that will give you a desire to seek further and to search the mystical pathways of an alternate reality, on a track that is utterly majestic in its cinematic like qualities.

Gentleness of tone and timbre can be found on Tranquility, an offering that is wonderfully meditative, and the penultimate offering Breath Of Water brings a depth of energy to the proceedings like none other, the natural sounds of the sea were perfect, which is not an easy thing to do, I have just released a single myself with the same sound and getting the balance right is vital here. It must be said that this piece alone is one of those that is utterly addictive, so much so, that you never truly want to leave its sandy beaches.

The last composition offered here on the album is entitled Synthia, an arrangement filled with a symbiotic partnership of a repeating electronic vibe and a sparkling flute, one that created for me the perfect ending offering, and a great way to conclude the album.

Sonic Light by Jacquelyn G. Kleine has to one of the best New Age albums I have had the pleasure to review this year, each and every track has a blissful, rich and smooth production quality, and within this colourful pastiche of tone lays a sonic delight of many textures and tastes, each composition is a narrative unto their own, and as such this release should be a huge hit for fans who love their music to take them somewhere they will never wish to leave.


Monday, August 8, 2022

Light of Hope By Ian Cameron Smith

 


Light of Hope

By

Ian Cameron Smith

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

I must admit it quite shocked me when I looked back and found I had been following, listening, and thoroughly enjoying the music of Ian Cameron Smith for over 20 years now, and here he is once more back in my life, with a beautiful and tranquil new single called Light Of Hope.

Hope is something many of us need now more than ever, and this sometimes emotive, sometimes soothing musical narrative, could well be the anthem for the realisation of that dream.

Cameron Smith plays an acoustic guitar with so much feeling and that mood is transported to the listener with ease, and is a true panacea of peace and calm, making this new release, Light of Hope, yet another success in a long line of work created by one of the best new age guitarists in the business.


Thursday, August 4, 2022

Mysteria By Louis Colaiannia

 


Mysteria

By

Louis Colaiannia

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

There are many pleasures in life, music is one of the biggest there can be for me, and then with regard to piano, one of the most descriptive of all instrumentations, there are those who can literally paint with the keys in the same way as Van Gogh did with his trusty brushes, a rare and priceless skill set indeed, in my view Louis Colaiannia is one of this rare breed, and listening to a new Colaiannia release is like receiving a Christmas present early, with that in mind we can now walk through this veritable art gallery of music entitled Mysteria with the artist.

I remember the opener well; it was a single release back in the dark bad old days of the year of 2020, a year that everyone wants to forget due to the pandemic, however One Day At A Time was an oasis of calm and a gentle flowing piano based multi-instrumental narrative that was a total joy back then and now.

Colainnia’s magical touch comes truly to the fore with the following piece entitled Gentle Touch, the string section here is quite beautiful and almost seems to dance with the artist’s piano, this has to be one of the warmest compositions I have heard from the musician.

As we move ever onward drifting in a dream of musical majesty, we come across a classy and clever arrangement entitled Along The Road; the keyboards here created a crafted soothing backdrop of sound, whilst the strings partnered Colainnia’s piano with all the love and respect it deserved.

Lonely Bird was another 2020 release that brought solace to our fearful hearts, this was a careful tender and delicate song that has stayed in my mind’s eye for an eternity, the stylish performance here by the artist is actually quite moving and emotional, and one can picture a bird in flight through the empty waste lands of time. Here one will find passion, empathy, intent and a sense of a building drama too.

On A Song Of Thanks (For Delome) different memories come to mind, the simple delicacy of this piece is a wonderment all of its own. Released back in the year of hope 2021 as a single, this almost anthem styled offering is a prime example of Colainnia’s artistic intelligence, and his fearless attitude of building an arrangement of such intense emotions and colours, and with a gentle running stream towards the end as well (a tribute to his childhood music teacher), ingenious indeed.

A New Day had a special feel about its construction, its build, progression and purpose reminded me of my dear friend David Lanz in style. The ever onward movement on the keys is utterly charming and almost reassuring for some strange reason, this piece had, and has, all that we need as we step into a brand new day, hope!

We move to the other end of the mood scale now with the track Melancholy, the sombre yet colourful narrative here is still a charming yet reflective tale to take in, and the artists presentation here, also has a haunting, almost jazzy energy to its overall composition.

The intrigue of this next piece had me riveted; Discovery manifested a careful, slow and explorative styled progression, one that reminded me of Timothy Wenzel at times, but Colainnia’s artistic genius pushed the musical ball even further, and created an almost soundtrack of a musical narrative that simply would not allow you to leave its court.

The opening to this next song was so wonderfully expressive and called Old Mountain Town. Strange really, because we’re about to visit some old mountain villages in our country in a couple of weeks’ time, and I am pretty sure that as we do so, this heart felt melody will still be running its course through my mind, this is with ease one of the most artistic pieces off the album without doubt.

One of my favourite parts of any new album is the title track, and that is where we are right now, lying in the arms of the creator and his creation that all was birthed from, the composition Mysteria. This is a powerful opus packed with suspense and intrigue and performed with a colourful flourish by the artist; this is a full flowing musical moment that is simply blissful to behold.

The penultimate offering off the album is called Reconnections, and this last but one treat has a real heart-warming feel to its manifestation. There is a charm about this piece that is so warming to the touch, a memory palace of a composition that has a crafted reflective arrangement built into its proud elaborate construction.

Our final parting gift from the artist is called Dreaming, this concluding musical present is a sensitive presentation, and a track that allows us as listeners to be grateful for the journey we have taken with the musician this time around, a classy way indeed to end the album.

Mysteria by Louis Colaiannia is a vast body of work with many memories and many moments that are completely unforgettable, here Colaiannia allows his muse full reign of his artistic skill set, and the result is one of the finest albums he has ever produced, and simply a must for lovers of truly good contemporary instrumental music.


Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Kindling Flame By Ask Askr


Kindling Flame

By

Ask Askr

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

In this new and exciting world of music and music production, there is always the opportunity to try something new and ground breaking, to a certain extent Ask Askr have achieved that with this brand new single Kindling Flames. The skill set required to successfully cross borders and genres is not an easy one to navigate, but on Kindling Flames, Ask Askr have pulled of an intelligent musical coo.

The tranquil tempo is created with a steady onward keyboard, and then with a creative stroke, guitars are added to a delightful mix that could fit with ease into several genres, Chill Out, Rock, even New Age, but most certainly Contemporary Instrumental. The balanced mood and crafted guitars on this debut single are perhaps even part of a new movement, perhaps we see the rise here of what could be described as Ambient Rock!

Whatever the outcome, Ask Askr have most certainly created something addictive, cogent and classy on Kindling Flames, and I have a strong feeling that this is just the start of a sparkling new future for the band.


 

Continuum By David De Michele

 


Continuum

By

David De Michele

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

The sheer beauty and translucent grace that can be found from this brand new single from David De Michele is some of the most stunningly transfixing and all-encompassing I have heard for simply years. Continuum is a single like no other; the synths used paint a wondrous inner dimension of sound, and the artist’s musical ear and his compositional skills, reign supreme at bringing the listener the perfect soothing space styled narrative to get lost within.

As a single Continuum will delight Ambient and Electronic music fans alike, it will enthral and delight followers of truly good instrumental music, with an arrangement that would easily be good enough to be featured as part of a space movie soundtrack. Continuum is as good as I have heard for a long while in this genre; so make the next click, the purchase to bring this classy new offering into your musical world as soon as possible; if you like the music of Kevin Kendle and Jonn Serrie, you will utterly adore this.


Physics of Light By Vicente Avella

 


Physics of Light

By

Vicente Avella

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

This latest album by pianist Vicente Avella is part of an ever growing collection of wondrous compositions created by the artist, however this 16 track creation now touches on one of my all-time favourite subjects, the qualities and physics of light. Physics of Light is a true journey through music and via the medium of the artist’s piano, I cannot wait to feel, hear and be part of this experience.

The starting opus is entitled Light Particles and the expressive performance here by Avella is both steady, with an onward motion that slowly builds with an underpinned confidence, one that leads perfectly into one of many favourites for me on the album entitled Radiance. Long have I admired the radiance and sparkling qualities of light on other objects and matter, for example the ocean, here this fine presentation is a flourish of magic that manifests the moment perfectly for me.

The slower and more moody aspects of Where Light and Shadow Meet is simply sublime and is another personal favourite of mine, the reflective minor chords and notes, bring about a blissful juxtaposition between light and shadow on this well-crafted piece.

A former single is up next and released back in 2021, Ultraviolet and its ebullient melody, still plays its harmonic bliss within my mind’s eye and reminds me of just how good a pianist Avella actually is, a tune also that wends its way into the arms of the next piece wonderfully as we arrive at the doorway of Oscuro, a song with a unusual structure, but never the less a track that is dark in parts, and also incredibly addictive to listen to.

The expressions, emotions and scientific reasoning about light is a subject that can spawn much debate on these next pieces, the artist does that perfectly well and illustrates this ever changing medium. Resistance has a quality of purpose and intent built into its narrative as well as containing a charming melody too, while Color Spectrum, has a deep rooted emotional mood within its construct, one that plays beautifully with the heart, whilst Claro elevates the senses to a height, one that almost lifts the soul from the body and into the universe itself, in what is without doubt one of the best performances off the album by Avella.

However when we reach this piece entitled Penumbra, we can honestly say we have reached a point of brilliance, as the artist plays with both light and shadow at the same time, in a presentation that is magnificent in all its aspects.

I love to stand in the late autumn and watch the beams of the sun dance with the first mists of the evening, October is especially magical with regard to this, this is the perfect time to engage Reflection, and just enjoy as the moment unfurls all around you. Vicente Avella on this piece has manifested my awareness of this time perfectly, in a track that is artistically sublime with each note played.

Time for a little Intermezzo, time to relax and enjoy a slice of peace and tranquillity with the pianist before he moves us to a whole new world with the track Opaque Object, here lies a sombre yet colourful tale, and a truly moving piano performance by Avella, a man who is fast becoming one of the most descriptive pianists around in this modern day.

We are now in the deep and darker waters of the release and as we drift on or boat of tone and timbre we come across Umbra, we can all witness this during an eclipse. Avella’s stunning performance here is so proud and resolute that it literally makes the hairs stand up upon the arm, probably one of the most intense pieces the artist has performed to date.

The slow slide into this next song is perfectly timed and placed as we move now to Infrared, an up-tempo presentation that creates a truly focused composition, one that flows perfectly into another favourite of mine in Antumbra; Vicente Avella’s expressions are so passionate here they are actually palpable and so very moving.

The final and concluding musical narrative is Visible Light, this was a truly clever move as this parting gift has a sense of an anthem about its construction and build, and reminds me of another composer Doug Hammer in parts as well, but simply put, the best way and composition with which to leave the album.

Physics of Light by Vicente Avella in my view is without doubt the best work of the artist thus far; this is an album of textures, colours, expressions and presentations, joined with the science of light itself, it is a superior release and probably one of the best in the solo piano genre this year with ease. Physics of Light by Vicente Avella is a must have collection of outstanding well created and crafted musical narratives, a true gem of an album simply too good to be missed.


Arioso in Red By Dave Mohan

 


Arioso in Red

By

Dave Mohan

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

The new single by Dave Mohan is a complete work of art that deserves a whole heap of respect, it’s cool vibe is perfect for this time of year, but its tapestry of tone is utterly sublime, a perfect song to kick back to on a hot summers night.

The vocal brilliance of Carolina de la Muela embraces the sensuality of the piece with great style, whilst Nicholas Ojeda on bass and of course the illustrious talents of pianist Dave Mohan, manifest a song that crosses the borderlands of music, and even offering a little light Jazz ethic within the weave too; this is one of those compositions that is simply undeniably wonderful with every note played. 


Thursday, July 28, 2022

Sacred Land from the album A Southwest Story By Elizabeth Naccarato

 


Sacred Land from the album A Southwest Story

By

Elizabeth Naccarato

Written by

Chrissie Sheppard

 

Sacred Land is a beautiful single track from Elizabeth Naccarato and her album A Southwest Story, a wonderful arrangement that features Nancy Rumbel on flutes.

The haunting flute of Rumbel opens the track; the piano of Naccarato then joins in to bring us a beautifully gentle composition that takes you on a journey to the sacred lands, as flute and piano accompany you. Strings then join us on our journey, giving this a very emotional feel.

I must admit, I was in tears at one point whilst listening to this; it was so very beautiful and moving.

Elizabeth told me that as she now lives in the Southwest, where there are so many Native American flute players, she thought it would be easy to find someone to play the flute for her, but she had no luck, so here husband suggested she asked Nancy, and I’m so very happy she did, as she has added so much to this amazing piece.

The whole album is so very different, each track takes you on a different journey, and I am sure it will be a huge success for Elizabeth Naccarato.

(In the Silence of) Living Free By Leah Tamar Benson

 


(In the Silence of) Living Free

By

Leah Tamar Benson

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

While some play piano, Leah Tamar Benson plays with colour, she lays blankets of textured tones, and highlights any emotive moment with sublime care and attention to detail, all of this and more can be found on her latest single (In the Silence of) Living Free, and may I also add what a wondrous gift it was to receive a solo piano piece that was well over 5 minutes long.

Leah Tamar Benson pulls off a truly magnificent performance on this stand out piece, her use of playing with an intense narrative and then switching to a softer presentation was one of the finest artistic interpretations I have heard on the piano for a long while indeed, and as such I can see no reason why (In the Silence of) Living Free shouldn’t be a huge chart hit for the artist.


Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Words In The Darkness By Victor Birkan

 


Words In The Darkness

By

Victor Birkan

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

The latest single from pianist Victor Birkan has fallen upon my desk, and this graceful performance is something to truly admire, as Words in the Darkness must be one of the most emotive compositions in the solo piano genre I have heard for quite some time.

Birkan’s offering has elements of a reflective sadness within its weave, and with ease, this could be a segment for an old Film Noir movie from yesteryear, but there is even more to this crafted arrangement, as one can also feel a certain European mood in the tapestry of this crafted composition as well.

One can only hope that Words In The Darkness by Victor Birkan receives the respect that it is due over the weeks ahead, and perhaps even a positive chart placing as well may occur, for this new single by the artist is incredibly stylish and thoughtfully produced.


Path of the Sandpiper By Suzanne Herman

 


Path of the Sandpiper

By

Suzanne Herman

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

I listened to this new and quite beautiful single by Suzanne Herman for the first time, whilst gazing at the amazing art work for the single, bird life for me and the subject of birds has always been a big part of my life, and I can say with truth that this composition utterly portrays the mood found on the cover art.

Path Of The Sandpiper, a wonderful creature found usually on the banks or shores of tidal regions of many countries across the world is a sight that is sublimely mesmeric, and this performance by Herman is both fluent, stunningly graceful, charming, and a blissfully perfect rendition and reflection of the grace of this fine bird; her presentation is light and artistic too, and as such this new single should find a lot of favour with fans and listeners the world over, a chart hit could also be on the cards for the artist given the incredibly descriptive performance contained within. 


Monday, July 25, 2022

Somewhere in Space and Time By Mike Clay

 


Somewhere in Space and Time

By

Mike Clay

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

As an electronic ambient music artist myself, I adore to listen to other artists In the same genre, I gain great insights, I get great inspiration and directions to go to, and this new release by Mike Clay fits all those categories for me and more, it allows me to let my senses and my awareness drift Somewhere in Space and Time.

Clays first composition and our starting point is perfect, he has created the platform onto which many more layers can be built, Ambient Memories is both consistent in its tone and vibrational aspects, and gives us, the ever eager listener, a gentle drifting bed of ambience to flow with.

We can imagine that we are in a galactic Starship traversing across the infinite realms of space, and whilst we do so our sensors pick up the energies of a Comet Crossing our path, this would indeed be a marvellous sight, and Clay’s presentation here, builds suspense, constant onward movement and a mood of tempered excitement as we see this incredible visual.

I remember my dear friend Kevin Kendle composing his track Lagoon Of Eternity many years back, and this piece Cosmic Cathedral reminds me of that construct, those pillars of eternity rose like Cathedral’s in the darkness of space, this progression and creativity within this clever composition manifest a similar reality for me here as well; Clay’s synths form vast patterns, ones that constantly coalesce.

Time Passage is a blissfully brilliant opus; its dark reservoirs of tone and timbre reverberate with times of future, past, present and yet to come. The drone here is perfectly positioned and played, whilst the almost Berlin styled repeating keyboard motif brings us a sense of movement and onward energy. This is a piece that contains a merging reality of ambience and purpose, and as we enter deeper into the weave of the song, the intent of the piece becomes even more evident as we transcend to the very edge of tomorrow and yesterday.

We’re edging forever into deeper space and at this juncture we come across a track of outstanding natural glory called Beautiful Bliss. The harmonic convergence here is musical ecstasy, and a song that stands out for me personally, as one of the best off the album; one can perhaps feel a little Vangelis deep within the weave of this tremendous offering.

The half way marker brings us the piece Caravan of Time, once more Clay is in inspired territory, the smoothness of this performance cannot be stated enough, the gentle and heartfelt flow is like watching an ancient portal activating, the presentation has a tinge of reflection within its structures to gift us one of the most emotive and moving pieces off the album.

Memories of Space is a vast opus of sound, created with an incalculable universe in mind, the keyboard effects here drive the narrative into an almost endless nexus of possibilities, whilst the tranquil synths float and drift around us in patterns so grand and complex.

We move ever deeper into the album and as we do so we come across a track that is utterly undeniable and called Ocean of Stars, the synth patterns here draw us in slowly, then like a tide, push us into a region of utter beauty, one that has an almost anthem like quality to its proceedings, while the following offering Nebula Rising has the reverse energetic mood, this is a far more cautious and careful piece, but one that builds upon layers of wonderment as it manifests its own reality as an arrangement of great quality.

One of the most pleasing musical journeys can be found on this very track entitled Asteroids at Play, at times my reverie reminded me of a musician from yesteryear in Phil Thornton, perhaps mixed with a little David Wright, in a composition that is deeply enjoyable to listen to and light hearted in its overall manifestation.

We have now docked at our penultimate piece and this offering is called Clouds of Creation, a gentle, yet mysterious arrangement can be found here; the slow synth build is idyllic and sublime with reference to the subject matter, the performance on keyboards brought a blissful dreaming sound, one that floated on the edge of time itself.

It is indeed time to head for home as we arrive at the ending track of the album called End of Time, a light percussive beat can be found here, mixed with swirling synths and a mood of conclusion, a crafted piece from Clay and a clever way indeed to finish off a superb album indeed.

Somewhere in Space and Time by Mike Clay is a top quality album that needs to be paid careful attention to, the presentations of each of the 12 tracks are carefully performed and produced, to give each and every listener a veritable journey in space through music. Somewhere in Space and Time by Mike Clay is mysterious, exciting, moody and inspiring, and an album that is very easy indeed to recommend.


Friday, July 22, 2022

Song of the Skylark By Chrissie Sheppard ft Andy Rogers

 


Song of the Skylark

By

Chrissie Sheppard ft Andy Rogers

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

Chrissie Sheppard has an album soon to be released that will tell us all the secrets that the birds hold, this latest single Song of the Skylark will be on that forthcoming album, and contains the talents of musician Andy Rogers on keyboards, and is probably one of the best releases thus far from the Flute performer herself.

The laid back feel to this presentation is sublime at reflecting the intense summers of this country of Cyprus, and the occasional voice of the Skylark can be heard on high. Chrissie Sheppard has brought a wonderfully chilled vibe to the fore here, and probably produced a rare moment in flute history, as here is a track that has a ponderous arrangement, so much so that a slight layer of blues can be detected within the composition.

This, and the natural sounds, and the presentation of a slowly climbing on high performance by the artist, creates a highlight moment in her career as an artist, and perhaps even one that will take her to the top of the charts.


Morning Glory Glory By Diane Wheeler Dunn

 


Morning Glory Glory

By

Diane Wheeler Dunn

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

Diane Wheeler Dunn is a flute performer that brings a little mystery to the table, her performances are always crisp, clear, but with an element of intrigue  suspended deep within the arrangement, here on this brand new single entitled Morning Glory Glory, we have all that and more.

Native American styled flute shines brightly with Diane Wheeler Dunn at the helm, and this calming musical narrative floats through the forest like a magical flute would do in Shakespeare’s a mid-summer nights dream.

The artist has been in fine musical form lately, and this new release Morning Glory Glory will be another step up the ladder in the blossoming career of the artist, on this sublimely calming, soothing and deeply peaceful new single.


Wednesday, July 20, 2022

The Breath of Forever By George Pendred

 


The Breath of Forever

By

George Pendred

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

There is a new talent on the flute that’s recently ridden into town for us here, his name is George Pendred and lately we have been entranced by his last two singles Forest Spirts and The Sea, both of which appear of this splendid album entitled The Breath of Forever. This treat is a wonderfully produced album of great quality; one that I am sure instrumental fans the world over will love.

The album consists of 11 classy tracks and starts with the first single we received Forest Spirits, a stunningly picturesque opener, one that leads perfectly into the arms of the following piece entitled The Sky, a fascinating creation, with a little keyboards built into the weave, and a slight electronic vibe that manifests an extra depth within the offering.

One of my personal favourites is the light hearted and positive refrains of the composition Travelling, the chords here mix craft-fully with a light reflective energy, whilst the flute remains the chief narrator in its overall build and progression.

The production quality on this album is sublime, examples of that textured brilliance can be found on pieces like Jazz-ish Improvisation, a truly clever offering, with a delightful bass line and keyboards, and the effervescent essences of the penultimate creation on the album called Flight.

The conclusion is brought to us by the last gift on the album called Flute Love, a gentle piece that hovers around the heart, and smiles a smile of peace and contentment; this is a beautiful offering with which to end a sublime album with.

The Breath of Forever by George Pendred is a sparkling new and exciting breath of fresh air in the flute based genre. Pendred brings the colour and textures beautifully, and gives us an upbeat and vibrant new collection of great songs.

From time to time we all need something new flourishing and fine in our lives, and The Breath of Forever by George Pendred is most certainly that, perhaps even a beacon of light and hope in the vast realm of the instrumental music genres. 


Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Night Train By Andrea Sertori

 


Night Train

By

Andrea Sertori

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

Andrea Sertori has been making quite a name for himself in the singles solo piano field lately, his fluent and crisp offerings have been bringing many idyllic moments for the listeners to thoroughly enjoy. Here on this brand new offering entitled Night Train, Sertori takes us on a journey along the tracks of a sojourn of calm and peaceful vibes.

Sertori’s confidence in this genre has grown immensely, his forward and constant onward movement within this single is very palpable, but at all times his performance is warm and comforting, much the same as if you were on the train itself, and watching the darkened fields and trees just pass by through the safety of the train window, and all in a sublime creative performance by the artist. 


One Day In Sicily By Carbe and Durand

 


One Day In Sicily

By

Carbe and Durand

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

Carbe and Durand are back, and after the chart topping success of their last single Sambarama, I see no reason why this new offering shouldn’t be right up there in the mix again. One Day In Sicily however is a different proposition musically, it is one of the most melodic tracks that the duo have released, and captures the mood of the location perfectly.

The dreamy guitar of J.P. Durand plays like it is actually singing, never has a duo been so perfect for a genre, add in that subtle and sensitive rhythmic energy created by the wonderful Liza Carbe, which makes this song a song of summer, and you have a new single that, like a glass of local wine and a jar of olives, is just too tasty to resist.

 


Thursday, July 14, 2022

Bubbles By Holly Jones

 



Bubbles

By

Holly Jones

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

It’s really nice to catch up musically again with the talented Holly Jones, her skills on the piano are always something pleasant thing to look forward to listening to, and on this brand new single called Bubbles we have one of the warmest tracks I think she may have ever composed.

Bubbles has a comforting energy about its creation that is so adorable, this piece also has a sense of innocence and simplicity about its construction that equally gives it a gentle, but very attractive vibrational mood, its simply one of those pieces that it is impossible not to fall in love with, my only heart felt wish is, that it would have been a much longer musical relationship.


Into the Unknown By Joseph L Young

 


Into the Unknown

By

Joseph L Young

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

It is so very good to hear once more from multi-instrumentalist Joseph L Young, the last album outing I have with the artist was way back in 2018 with one of his most awesome albums of all time in Every Moment, but here we are again, and about to open up the door to another wonderful journey of deeply expressive music with the album Into The Unknown.

This voyage of musical plenitude starts with one of the most cinematic offerings I have heard from the artist, it’s called Into the Unknown and is of course our very classy title track. Living in the Middle East this really resonates with the energies that are around us here, using a far and wide multi-instrumentational ethic and a that stylish Duduk, gives us the listener the most perfect starting point ever.

The following piece is a musical narrative that is so moving, it’s is the emotional presentation Remembrance of Time ft Lynn Tredeau on piano and for my money is one of the finest duets that Young has ever done. Tredeau has an incredible way of making her piano almost cry, whilst Young’s flute performance is heart rendering and utterly emotive.

The opening few bars of this next piece truly drew me in, once more a multi-instrumental nature is employed, ethereal vocalisations too, and all roads lead to the artist and his trust worthy flute to lay down a mood that like the album, crosses more boundaries than many other artists would dare to even attempt in a life time, I detected a wonderful mouth harp here too, after research I would find that it was actually Vietnamese instrumentation, which then made perfect sense to me as this piece.  Enchanted, certainly had a delicate eastern feel to its overall construction.

One can have no doubt that Young is one of the finest performers of his time, and with ease has to be the most unique of creators, and by switching to sax on Secrets of Stone, once more the borderlands of music are not just crossed, they’re torn asunder. Young’s presentation here manifests an almost global Jazz ethic; the tabla and percussion were sublime and would go on to create a rich and colourful vibe, and at times one with a deep sense of sensuality with its slow and sultry Middle Eastern energies and rhythm’s.

You always find a track that resonates with you and on Beyond the Horizon that would be the tick in the box for me, this is a fascinating piece, it contained an electronic vibe with distant echoes of Vangelis, and keyboards that would pick the composition up and take it along on its merry journey through time and space perhaps. A mysterious expedition through music can be found here, but one I am sure you would be more than willing to take.

Strange, I should be writing about this track today, as I was only thinking yesterday about composing a piece referencing the conflicting energies of the mind and heart for my next album, but on Between Worlds (Remix), we have a masterpiece of duality, the flutes of Young are the knowledgeable narrator. This is a wonderful arrangement that completely reveals the dichotomy of being between two worlds and lost in love, one that reminds me greatly of Phil Thornton’s similarly named track back in the late 90’s, this one Joseph, will become a total constant for me forever.

As so this voyage of brilliance continues with a nice feel on this following offering entitled Transcendence, a piece that seemed to have an almost Richard Carpenter electronic and percussion styled feel to its sonic backdrop, but the Sax of Young lifted the piece to new levels, to give it a brighter energy, the added vocalisations were a blissful addition as well.

We can fall deeper into the layers of this album now and as we do so we come across a track called The Forgotten, again this is an incredible mixture of styles, modes and musical gestures, and no one does it quite like Joseph L Young. The darkness shines so bright on this track it’s palpable, and the sullen and moody progression of this composition is akin to walking the borderlands of Stephen King’s Mid World and indeed, this amazing piece would be perfect for the movie should he make one, wonderfully descriptive, deeply moving and a hovering intensity that is so very rare to find these days.

We now arrive at the longest composition off the album and this expression of utter quality is called Eclipsed. This is a clever offering; one can enjoy the fairly light mood created by Young’s colourful flute, but all the while behind the main narrative is an intensity that needs not to be ignored, the build and progression here with electronics, leading into a percussive upbeat and then into the sax, must make this piece easily the most creative from the album.

The penultimate arrangement is this very classy moment, now known for ever in time as Windswayed. The piece has with ease the most indigenous textures within its clever frame ever; yes Young’s flute manifests this mood, but then the artists skill set of artistic genius kicks in further and the track elevates to a piece that is both the wind, the tree and the leaf that flies on to lands unknown.

So we have reached the final portal to the album, the name of this concluding piece is Ancestral Crossings, this is an utterly perfect song to finish what has been a superb album. The mood of this track is multi-dimensional as well as being multi-cultural and instrumental, if there was one piece off the release that could sum up Young’s talents in crossing musical borders and genres, for me, this would be the apex of that search.

Into the Unknown by Joseph L Young is a magnificent album, it of course takes the listener on a journey like any really good album should do, but Young does it with such colour style and artistic intelligence, and keeps the listener engaged at all times. Into the Unknown by Joseph L Young is a tapestry of tone and atmospheric mastery like no other, and an album I personally would recommend in a heartbeat.


Monday, July 11, 2022

To You By Antonija Pacek

 


To You

By

Antonija Pacek

Written by

Chrissie Sheppard

 

I adore the gentle touch on the keys of Antonija Pacek, she has a special feel to her music, and that is only felt even more deeply on her latest release, To You, a piece that feels so special, as if it was written for someone special, and that special person was you.

This is a fantastic composition from Antonija Pacek, and a piece that I am delighted to say is just over 4 minutes long too, giving you enough time to fully immerse yourself in the music and its delights.

To You is a wonderful creation from the artist, a moving and yet gentle creation, and one that I feel should do really well for her in the charts too. 


Cosmos V by David De Michele

 


Cosmos V

By

David De Michele

Written by

Steve Sheppard

 

Here is an album that is right down my street, an ambient electronic pastiche of both great colour and style, and by the artist David De Michele of whom I have an album of that dates back to 2003 (although that was not his first release), and here some 19 years later he births his latest masterpiece Cosmos V, and one has to say it is one of the most translucent, inspiring and moving albums I have heard since Kevin Kendle released, Light From Orion, it is that good, so let’s journey with the artist right now on this 7 track album.

The opening piece has such an amazing emotional resonance to it, it literally takes your breath away, the build, flow, drift and emotive synth chords construct one of the finest openers in this field I have heard for many a year, of course we are talking about the headline piece Cosmos V.

With tracks like Event Horizon we have a steady, but progressive motif, one that builds, hovers and smoothly traverses the universal airwaves. While on Central Sun, we have a blissful sense of ambience, but a track cleverly textured to bring us an emotional vista, it is as if we are truly looking at an ever expanding sun as we drift towards its life giving warmth.

On Expanse, there is a delicacy that is so beautifully created, it’s like someone has opened up a small portal to a vast expansive realm, and explores the emotions from that event, then we slowly flow into Light Speed; a track with expectations, where an almost Berlin styled school opening foray of electronic music creates an onward movement ahead, in a wonderfully manifested arrangement that is performed with such a masterful presentation. I was reminded in part of the late but great Vangelis and his Albedo 0.39 album with this offering.

The penultimate offering off the album is entitled Stellar and now we may enter the womb of the galaxy, to gaze upon the nursery of stars being brought into existence, the slow wave like synth forms, brings us an ocean of calm and security, where one could literally be at peace for en eternity.

Our concluding track is entitled Origin and is utterly the finest work of art for us to part ways with the album, the performance here was brilliantly played with a fast repetitive Oldfield styled repeated segment, and juxtaposed by a slow soothing synth, both would amalgamate and finish off the album in great style.

Cosmos V by David De Michele is for me, one of the best electronic space styled albums I have heard for many years, and I have a feeling that its success will be as evident as riding on the tail of a comet itself. Cosmos V by David De Michele is an album I would recommend to anyone who likes outstanding music, or those seeking an ambient sanctuary of the soul.