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Crommie, Daniel: Inside-Out

Over the years the team at SoT have covered a vast swathe of the prolific work from Daniel Crommie; a multi-instrumentalist who refuses to be backed into musical corners. Inside-Out is, quite remarkably, Daniel's 22nd album since the turn of the millennium, and truth be told, as you might expect from such an industrious output, the results have not only been eclectic, but also somewhat mixed. Crommie himself considers Inside-Out to be the sister album of Portal (his first of three 2017 releases), which my esteemed colleague Jon Neudorf concluded was "an ambient exploration of electronic music mixed with natural timbres..." and "another strong effort from Crommie." Both comments which prove pertinent here too.

Utilising a mixture of electronic themes as base and then weaving through them interludes recorded in various wilderness locations quite literally moves the atmosphere created here into a more ambient setting; this being an album of consideration, contemplation and placement. The latter aspect coming to the fore both in terms of the careful placement of ebbing and flowing washes of sound, and how it asks the listener to place themselves in the heart of the pieces. Organic instrumentation is introduced throughout, a variety of flutes adding light and mystery to what can be a more soothing backdrop. This clever intertwining giving a welcome, if never overly forceful, focal point and one which can change the mood and tone of the pieces in a way that keeps you engaged.

For large parts of the album the tone is pastoral, calming and relaxing, but with the likes of "Delayed Reaction" providing much more pointed electronics and a more ebullient outlook, things never settle too tightly into one unchanging groove. "Desert Poem" brings the album's only vocal, a synthesised, almost droningly-spoken delivery quite jarring in its nature. With mystic, almost Native American moods swirling in the background, the effect can be quite mesmerising, if undoubtedly uncompromising. Something that can be said for most of Crommie's work. However, where Inside-Out varies from Portal is that rather than display these emotions through four lengthy excursions, this time 14 tracks varying in length between one single minute and eleven, are used to get the message across. Allowing a pleasingly cohesive piece of work to also be varied and involving. Again referencing the sentiments of my colleague Jon Neudrof, what Daniel Crommie conjures is unlikely to appeal to everyone, however, if you've connected with his music in the past, then Inside-Out comes highly recommended.

Track Listing
1. Meridian
2. Desert Poem
3. Hart Mountain
4. Bell spirit
5. Three Sisters
6. Delayed Reaction
7. Imnaha
8. Garden of the Moon
9. The Lakeside
10. Grey Skies, Blue Eyes
11. Away in the Distant Future
12. Trillium Air
13. Collawash
14. Cirrus Floccus

Added: November 19th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Inside-Out at bandcamp
Hits: 1213
Language: english

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