Vangelis`s “The City”. A lover`s telephone conversation overheard as she absently fingers the cord dressed in a short kimono robe, reclining on a hotel bed, straight from the shower. Eric Serra`s “Learning Time”. Nikita drug free. A seduction by Cerrone`s “La Secte De Marrakech”. The sun setting on Double Fantasy`s “Universal Avenue”. Mark Isham`s “Blue Distance”. A walk out by Crow Crag. Jun Fukamachi`s sessions for Nicole. Chapterhouse`s choirboys vapourised and committed to the aether by Global Communications. Pre and post-coital serenity. Referential fireworks ignited, lit.
Jonny Nash sent me the “Land Of Light” files on what must have been a Saturday lunch-time, his time. I was up late drinking. Initially I wasn`t paying much attention. The files downloaded and opened in iTunes and I was doing something else, drinking. But I had to keep moving from bottle to computer screen to confirm what was playing, make sure that my machine hadn`t gone on some Café Del Mar Classics shuffle. I sent Jonny emails at five minute intervals. Gushing. I couldn`t believe how great the music was.
That was two months ago and since then I`ve played a different track from the album on the radio every week, vowing to have aired everything before the record`s release. Every Saturday I`m sat in the studio, running through the promos I`ve received, when something from “Land Of Light” will start and I will have to stop. Each piece draws you in and just when you think “This can`t get any better”, it does. I do find myself saying out loud, “This really is fucking brilliant”, each time in a kind of state of shock.
I`ve liked Jonny`s work with Discossession but, to be honest, have always found it too full of ideas, too busy. Maybe there it`s a case of too many cooks, but here, partnered with Kyle Martin, ideas are given space. Yeah there`s a theme running through the album. I have to admit that on repeated listens (and there have now been many) that when a track starts I have to check that I haven`t accidently knocked back to the last. But that`s OK isn`t it, to have a theme develop, evolve and take on different characters, different shades?
Jonny and Kyle worked on this project for three years, such patience a rarity itself in these days when our ears are over run with both people simply too excited about their first efforts and folks needing to get music out quickly to pay the rent, free up a bit more of that advance. How many record labels would allow their artists three years to develop? Or give them a few misses to mature? Impossible, unheard of in the 21st Century. The sound here harks back to a time when Bryan Ferry could saunter about booking time at Air, Compass Point, Smarm, The Power Station and flying in Marcus Miller, Mark Knopfler, Nile Rodgers, and Dave Gilmour for sessions.
The thing that I really love about this album is that it has the ambience of a real room, and not a quantisized, virtual non-space. (Tell all the withdoctors) There ain`t no presets, this is Archway analogue. Listen and you can almost hear the players breathing. I am so looking forward to putting the actual vinyl record on my turntable that I lie awake worrying about the mastering of it. Essential. Perfect.
Everything merges with the night. Sounds of the forest. I have learned to name the trees. Nature and love. I am watching you undress, a ballet in silk, slowly, uninhibited as if I were not here. I am sat on your bed. Come closer, bend, take my face in your hands. Every time like the first when love is new. Veils and anticipation, we have all the time in the world. We have no time. Measuring anything ruins it. This love is fated, fading as it peaks. Both knowing that it can`t last. Pretending a while. It got to be that I could only enjoy whilst forgetting, senses heightened but cruel clock abandoned. From stolen glances at parties to addiction, lies and rented rooms. Needles and spoons. Consumed and to consume. Partners in frail doom. The beat of coincidence will break it. Beauty. Your beauty. Sad beacon. A shrine, an altar, to all my mistakes, loss and regret. You are kissing me but I am lost. All these things are committed to the past, one moment remembering your room, a second-hand decadence, a glamour affected from poverty, the next skimming stones on a cold and deserted beach, almost alone apart from something, just outside of reach. If I were to falter I would let you all down. If you are Betty, gone forever, then I am Zorg, I have survived. But I will never recover, and make content to dance in memory exclusively, faithfully. Chicken maybe, but the Sun still rises and I do smile with the hope of each new day. Land of light. You are always with me anyhow.
“Land Of Light” is released on November 12 on ESP Institute, and you can listen to clips here.
My very special guest, Moonboots, will also be playing a track from the album in his selection this Saturday (20 / 10 / 2012) on “The Remedy” / local FM (8 – 9 PM Japanese Time) / Midday in the UK (1 PM in Europe) / on Karuizawa FM / to stream you need to click on web radio / then chose the first option – インタ-ネトdeラジオ / the shows are archived on Samurai.FM the following week here and you can find the Facebook page here.