Thursday, November 3, 2011

Stuart McCallum - Distilled (2011)

Distilled is a beautifully atmospheric recording, the third album from Stuart McCallum, best known for his work with the Cinematic Orchestra. The Manchester-based guitarist/composer knows how to combine established and contemporary sounds, making them into music that is never less than fascinating and, at its best, a thing of breathtaking beauty.

Much of the beauty of this album comes from McCallum's ability to blend instruments together to form a sound that is both cooperative and undifferentiated—a process based on cycles of composition, recording and sampling. This is not music that thrives on competition or contrast, but on graceful interaction, on sharing of ideas and musical spaces. McCallum intermingles the different instruments, samples and technologies with genuine creativity. Each instrument is crucial to the overall sound—not by retaining its own sonic identity, but by adding another layer to the carefully crafted whole.

Bruce Lindsay (AllAboutJazz)

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