Monday, 21 May 2018

Bret Higgins' Atlas Revolt - Illusion Machine, album review

Finely Played Modes and Atmospheres

The percussion of Juan Carlos Medrano sets the compulsive pace for opener Shadowboxing, with Tom Juhas on some fine fuzzed guitar, little Balkan modes peeking through, supplied mainly by Alexsandar Gajic on violin. Bret Higgins on bass layers this and what follows with an understated but equally rhythmic playing, on next Hunter supporting more guitar lead, this and violin setting off on the melodic line before that latter goes solo, wonderfully.

Last Man Standing takes on more of the marriage between South American and Balkan musical atmospheres, though here Robbie Grunwald on keys injects more western notes, Juhas more cowboy Western on his guitar twang – it is a multi-faceted sound. Joshua Van Tassel on drums is a steady underscore of the sustained rhythmic drives, and on this song Higgins solos. Next, Euculipsa slows the pace so far, the guitar twang here a balladic echoing, and the violin with organ is a plaintive accompaniment – quiet beautiful. There is more of this sweet violin on the album’s title track, and other continuing, fine all-round musicianship.

Lovely instrumental album. Listen to/get it here.

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