September 15 saw the release of Guiding Light, the third album by all instrumental project Pymlico. My findings on the previous album you can find here. Again written, arranged and produced by Arild Brøter, who also provides drums, keyboards and guitar. Together with a host of guest musicians he delivers 7 songs of his highly melodic brand of (progressive) rock with serious world music influences. Besides the instruments already mentioned, we also are treated on organ, piano, alto, soprano and tenor saxophone, suling flute, bass, percussion and even the trombone.
An instrument like the saxophone always tends to create a certain jazz feel and here is no exception. Take a listen to The East Side and you will know what I mean. Before that Sounds Of The City impresses with a great groove and one of the best melodies on this album. For the life of me I will not understand while some people say they cannot digest instrumental music. All those people should treat themselves with this album and I am sure they will agree that it is possible to connect to this. Whether it is the melodies, the grooves, the atmospheres, the varied soloing, this music has an universal appeal that I am sure would satisfy even the most critic listener. And forget about that prog tag, this transcends genres if you ask me. Lovely album that comes highly recommended.
Next up in this run of MoonJune releases is this album by Indonesian guitarist Dewa Budjana. Well there are a lot of other musicians involved, most notably Dave Carpenter and Reggie Hamilton on bass and Peter Erskine on drums. And while this is a current release, 5 tracks were recorded in 2011 and the other 7 somewhere between 2000 and 2005.
Well all that had little to do with quality as this is timeless music. Opener Lalu Lintas, might send you on the wrong track, for parts of it contain large amounts of shredding, but the track also lets you catch a glimpse of simple but beautiful melodies, and refined musical interplay. It is also obvious that this is a mix of styles and not all about guitar. There is progressive rock, world music, fusion and jazz on board. And it still sounds coherent.
Next track is Gangga and that opens with some beautiful nylon stringed guitar playing. A voice adds eastern melodies without words and then the song really takes off with a attractive instrumental melody. That melody is sometimes counterparted, and sometimes supported by vocals. Again a track that shows great musical ability but mainly touches you on an emotional level. There are more tracks that combine Eastern and Western influences and melt those into something melodic, sometimes esoteric, sometimes with some force behind it. Because of the moodshifts, the variety of lead instruments (guitar, bass, flute and the use of the voice), I found this a very warm and entertaining album that is a pleasure to listen to. Something you should definitely look into!