Music Reviews

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Artist: Jim Denley
Title: Cut Air
Format: CD + Vinyl
Label: Sofa
You probably have expectations of what a solo flute album would sound like- you may need to revise them. The diverse Australian, South Pacific and Amazonian ethnic traditions of the diverse flute family meet the European tones I’m more familiar with on this collection of layered improvisations of extremely long drone-like notes with a warm, deep, comforting tone. In my ignorance some parts sound like a didgeridoo, but there’s also plenty of other shapes and tones going on.

The feeling of breathing transcribed through the instrument is steady and mostly soporific, though certain note alternations (for example 5 minutes into the first track) do lead to slightly more active periods. It never shifts into anything that might be called challenging or difficult.

With an LP-like format, you get two 19-minute long pieces with a similar flavour. “For Celina Rokona” has slightly more percussive elements in parts but as pieces they are non-identical twins. The gating-like and fluttering effects at the end of the title track and the opening of “For Celina Rokona” are a fascinating example of organic noises imitating electronics, sounding almost Radiophonic Workshop-like at times.

“Cut Air” is a bold and simple listening experience, a captivating example of the breadth of possible sound from one instrument family- and also quite simply a nice way to chill out.



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