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A Trick of the Wind by Erik Scott
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 10/11/2018
An outstanding album
It’s always a treat when we I receive a new Erik Scott album, this man really knows how to create a mellow vibe and leave you feeling extremely chilled at the end of any new release.
Much the same can be said right here, as we herald in another new arrival this time called A Trick of the Wind. Scott has also, and rather cleverly has created an album cover that brings many happy Pink Floyd memories for me personally, and anyone who has still has a vinyl copy and the inner sleeve of Wish you Were Here, will know exactly what I mean.
However we start this luxurious voyage of chilled vibes with the opening piece Wings, a composition that contains some of the most chilled energies you could ever wish to find, the bass of Scott sings along with the wordless vocals and we’re even treated to a delightful segment of truly tasty Sitars as well as a wonderfully organic world vibe to end with, or is it just a trick of the wind?
The narrative of this release is also fresh and appealing, we have many albums on clouds, times of day, or seasons, but to manifest an album with the main theme being the wind is like a breath of fresh air! Listen to this next opus of crafted genius entitled, The Wind Sings a Strange Song. I adored the keyboards at the very beginning of the piece, they gave us a brilliant moment of a cinematic Carpenter styled essence and then the creative mastery of Scott’s bass literally blew the rest of the track away into the whispering winds of the northern lands.
As we move into the album further we come across an almost retrospective arrangement entitled Ghosts of Storyville, this would be another favourite of mine, the artist manifests something a little darker, but still has that all-encompassing nature of good will about it’s over all construction, we are also delighted to listen to the little Jazz motif brought to us by a very agreeable trumpet just before the half way juncture of the track. The wordless vocals build a really smooth refrain to the composition, and overall this is one of the smoothest pieces of the release with ease.
Erik Scott is a true musical Jedi of the Bass guitar, but this album is far more than just a bass driven release, as you will completely understand as we reach track four, and yes, this is the mighty title track, A Trick of the Wind, the ultimate musical canvas. Swirling sounds of keyboards resonate and create a darker dimension of sound, and then the tone of Scott’s bass seem to literally talk to us over the vast reaches of musical time. This has to be one of the most interesting and intelligent title tracks I have heard for ages, and one well worth waiting for.
We find our new walkway is downwards to the valley of the last few doorways of this brilliant new album, as we tread this rustic musical path we come across the extremely chilled, but lyrical song called Solooka … Heart Wind. This may indeed be chilled, but the slow progression of the song brings it full tilt towards an almost inspirational piece, with inspiring wordless vocals and a driving percussion.
The organ on, A Wing and a Prayer is so scene setting, it is deeply moving and emotive at its very core and the gentle keyboards and percussion are the perfect backdrop to enable Scott’s bass to lead the way home. There is a really enhanced energy about this piece that I find most appealing and perhaps this composition is also a cathartic journey for the artist himself.
We now slide closer to the end of the release, but before we get there we can wander in the musical prairies of this next offering entitled The Invisible Wind. This track actually contains some of the finest bass work and effects your ever likely to hear and manifests for me, visions of my time in the mid-west of the states, on the flat lands and prairies, listening to the spirits talking in the wind.
Our penultimate musical dimension is called Born Dreaming, and from the start we are gifted something a little mysterious with a drum beat that seems to hover in the shadows of time, but Scott, being the master musical narrator that he is, takes us by the hand and leads us into world of classy played keyboards and a delicious bass driven performance, one that seems to float across the summer lands of our minds eye.
So sadly, and I say so because I never wanted this experience to end, we come to the last track off the album and this final gift is called A Child Remains and after all is said and done, no matter how old we are and how old we get, there is still that little bit of a child inside still left. However this is a light hearted reverie with some absolutely masterful bass work mixed with added instrumentation, which leaves us with an almost childlike giggle at its conclusion
I have to admit, I think that this album is easily Scott’s best work to date, the entire release is open and accessible to all, the performance and production quality is simply the best it can be, but more than that Erik Scott has manifested here an album that he clearly has both found fun to do, but at the same time wore his heart on his sleeve whilst doing it, thus I can do more than urge you to buy A Trick of the Wind, it is truly outstanding and an absolute pleasure to listen to.
Rating: Excellent
High Tech. High Touch by Wendy Loomis
- posted by Steve Sheppard, One World Music on 10/9/2018
High Tech, High Touch by Wendy Loomis
If you’re looking for something very unique, something refreshing and breathtakingly sublime, then you need to look no further that the new release by Wendy Loomis entitled High Tech, High Touch. This offering is actually a double CD release and gives us two styles of music created by the artist to roam within. High Tech is Loomis on synths and percussion with an array of other fine artists who join her to bring us some of the most inventive EM we may have heard for some time, like the Berlin styled track Cassiopeia and the full flowing and quite deep arrangement Apogee.
High Tech is an intelligent and well thought out collection of arrangements, which contain a myriad of added instrumentation, a big tip of the hat goes to Michele Walter for her work on violin on the aforementioned Cassiopeia and my personal favourite Pleiades.

Disc two takes us to a totally different musical dimension, as High Touch is brimmed to the top with utterly sublime solo piano recordings and contains my favourite track of all called Cumulus Cloud. This particular piece is one of the finest compositions I have heard in this genre for years, empowering and inspiring; the use of minor chord structures in the narrative is nothing more than genius.
On Romantic Hearts Loomis creates a retrospective feeling and one could easily be forgiven for thinking we were back to the early years of artists like George Winston and Scott Cossu. The ambience of Nagano Reflection was both moving and creative, while the artistic flair in the confident last offering of Eternity was simply the perfect way to leave the project, and performed with
such a high level of professionalism it was a delight to be able to be a part of its tone created dimension.

High Tech, High Touch is a double cd of pure class and one I personally could listen to for hours. There are eight tracks on each album, and all of them produced with a pristine quality of sound and technique. This is an album that has really freshened up the multi genres of the new age music industry and one that I completely recommend without hesitation.
Half Moon Bay by Rick Sparks
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 9/28/2018
A sublime creation of beauty
I remember being totally entranced with the album Nightfall London by Rick Sparks and now the artist is back with an incredibly beautifully release entitled Half Moon Bay. Like Rick I share in his passion of a love of nature and the sea, I only have to look from my balcony to gaze upon its lapis depths.
On this Ricks fifth album we explore that very narrative of the ocean, nature and the tranquil peace and the serenity that can be found by embracing it. The release is a simply delicious 10 tracks of utter summer bliss and reflection, all mixed into a glorious sun kissed compilation of tranquillity.
My first and favourite selection would be the opening piece Sand and Stars, I adored the major and minor combinations here, the ethereal wordless vocals are so moving that one could literally be there, in the moment, in Half Moon Bay. The natural floating keyboards here are divine. I fell in love with this piece, I could imagine walking in a summer sunset along this mystical beach with my beautiful wife Chrissie, yes this is a composition filled with love and created with the same wondrous energy and to be shared in love too.
Rick has a passion for the incredible talent of The Beach Boys, and surely they must be the musical epitome of the word summer when you think about it. The guitar here is beyond serene and Half Moon Bay, the title track, is as beautiful as the title suggests, I would imagine that Beach Boys Brian Wilson would completely approve of this moment of musical mastery, it is simply stunning.
The entire album is faultlessly magnificent, this for me is how real New Age music should be performed, with sensitivity, from the heart and bathed in love and a sense of tranquillity and peace.
My last suggested moment of genius from this incredibly gorgeous album is the final piece, Summer's Gone, this really moved me; I guess I am feeling that right now as autumn starts to poke its head around the corner of our world on my island. The gentle and reflective energy of this composition and the soft strings sections allows us to wave goodbye to the summer for now, and leave the album in a state of complete relaxation and happiness.
Half Moon Bay by Rick Sparks is one of those albums that only comes around every so often, but when it does one must snap it up quickly, and bathe in its tones daily. Half Moon Bay has been produced and created by the tender soul of an artist who really feels his music and Rick Sparks will be proud of this timeless creation of sublime beauty for many years, they don’t get much better than this, and I would recommend Half Moon Bay in a heartbeat.
Rating: Excellent
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