John Metcalfe: The Appearance Of Colour

review metcalfeA x1 cong

We bought this after previewing a gig he was playing: he’s a violinist who was once a member of The Durutti Column, and has provided string arrangements for the likes of Morrissey, Blur and Bat For Lashes. He sounded interesting.

You’ve got to listen closely to this, otherwise it drifts by. The music varies between something that sounds like the background in a cool film (or a Nordic noir offering, it’s a bit Choir Of Young Believers in places) and chill-out dance music, though his classical experience is obvious and he plays most of the instruments to the highest of standards. There are also programmed sections that blend the real instruments with electronica.

Opener Sun is about 16 minutes long and follows that celestial body across the day, from sun rise to set, and ranges across a variety of sounds to express that progression, from Metcalfe’s classical violin to a chill-out to what’s almost prog. Elsewhere: Parsal has a section where the piano/violin sound like rain, Sycamore adopts a drum n bass beat while songs like the title track are more rhythmic.

It’s true that it can fade a little into the background but it’s an enjoyable album, particularly on headphones.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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