John Greaves

Tambien 1-7 1995

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Take the "T" and move it after the "n" to know what this album is about. Back in 1995, the Voiceprint label extended an invitation to John Greaves to record an album of ambient music. The singer/songwriter jumped right at it, but the project remained on the shelf for ten years, finally unearthed for release on Resurgence, Voiceprint's imprint for such rebirths. Greaves' project consisted of seven instrumental pieces, each seven minutes in duration. The material is mostly distilled from improvisations involving guitar, keyboards, and Cubase programming. Snippets were later reworked in the studio with engineer Chris Thorpe. The result will be surprising to any Greaves follower. After all, his forays in this area are next to nil. Ambient music stands at the crossroads of electronics and new age (some may say that it's good/serious/intelligent new age music). Greaves' conception of ambient relies on long tones, guitar resonances, and deep mixes with several intermingling layers of quiet sounds. Some tracks ("Tambien 1," "Tambien 5") float nicely but rather aimlessly, carried by nondescript keyboard patches. Others are much more unusual and attention-grabbing, including "Tambien 4," which is more of a collage, and "Tambien 6," a stunning piece with metallic overtones. The latter piece, highly experimental, will appeal to fans of drone and soundscape music. Bits of accordion and acoustic guitar lighten up the overall feel in some of the other tracks, for a well-balanced album of textural explorations. Again, this is nothing like the man's other projects, so it may be best to approach it as something for the completist.

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