Light

Turning

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

It's not so surprising that Light's debut album won comparisons to Flying Saucer Attack -- besides the fact that Dave Mercer was a longtime friend of Dave Pearce, Turning was mastered by mutual friend/collaborator Rocker. Rocker might well be contributing the occasional drums as well, though besides another guest appearance on "End of the River," this is Mercer's baby straight up. Seeing Turning as merely standing in the shadow of Further or any other album from the Bristol sphere of exploratory guitar music of the '90s, though, undercuts its own wonderful strengths. Mercer, like Pearce, is fascinated with the possibilities of acoustic and electric guitar combined with waves of reverb and shadowy but beautiful swathes of sound. Unlike Flying Saucer Attack, though, Light is less openly dedicated to folk goals in a new setting, neither does it seek to overpower through crumbling noise -- it's a calmer but no less intoxicating combination of the extremes at play. However, the almost jaunty swing of "Nature Man," covered in the dark, distanced chime of the music, and the sweet cyclical chime holding up the conclusion of "Unknown Song" (a bliss-out effect well worthy of the term) are just two instances where the balance works wonders. Mercer also possesses a different singing style, very often using vocal treatments to create a huskier, murkier tone than the quietly fragile one Pearce favors. The cascade of words on "Tale of White Passage" ends up creating as much melancholy murk as the music, arguably making things even more disorienting than before. To be sure, more than once the connections to FSA, Amp, or the like are perfectly obvious -- "Passing" in particular sounds like a collaboration between those other two acts -- but nothing takes away from the lovely appeal of Turning as a whole.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 6:30
2 4:14
3 4:55
4 5:06
5 7:52
6 5:02
7 7:27
8 4:55
blue highlight denotes track pick