james brewster As a Hovering Insect Mass Breaks Your Fall (CD, £8.75)label: Make Mine Music
James Brewster is an English musician, producer and sound explorer currently living in Malmö, Sweden. This is his fourth solo album, though it is the first to be released under his given name. It is also the first full album he has recorded since moving to Sweden in mid-2006. Brewster's aim with this record was to incorporate as many of his influences, ideas and interests as possible into a single coherent whole. As a result, the album moves seamlessly between ultra-melodic song-structures, atmospheric sound-design, dense digital processing, spoken word, field recordings, evolving minimalist themes, intricate drum machine rhythms, chiming interlocking guitars and cascades of bells. The minimalist leanings of the first half of the album gradually build towards a more pop-oriented second half. The range of vocal contributors to the album neatly reflects both stages of Brewster's musical development thus far. Firstly, his roots in the Bristol DIY scene of the early 2000s - which both inspired him to start making music and nurtured his early sound – and, secondly, the broadening of influences which resulted from his relocation to Malmö. From the Bristol side we have Nick Talbot of Gravenhurst, Men Diamler (one of the West Country's most astonishing live performers) and Suzi Gage (of acclaimed Bristol band You and the Atom Bomb). As well as drawing influence from his involvement in Malmö's own experimental, improvisational and noise scenes, Brewster's move to Sweden has also led to other more unexpected sources of inspiration. This is reflected in the remaining three vocal contributors to the album: Albanian opera singer Egzona Gervalla and Iranian puppet-artist Soodabeh Haaji were both met studying Swedish, as was fellow Englishman Daniel Goody (of Malmö electro-indie-pop band Steel Island).
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