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Crommie, Daniel: Storm Front

Multifaceted multi-instrumentalist Daniel Crommie continues his quite remarkable work rate with Storm Front, his first, but already not his only album from 2018. Moving back into organic-electronic ambient territory, the man himself, who handles all the instruments on this offering, describes it as “cinematic electro-acoustic with layers of flute integrated organically with analogue and digital synthesizers to create an exotic electro-ambient soundscape… featuring layered flutes with occasional synth accompaniment, resulting in semi-symphonic moments - there are no loops, just regenerating delays that constantly shift, evolve and dissolve like wisps of cloud passing overhead on a spring day.” Now while I haven’t been able to pick out the semi-symphonic moments, Crommie is absolutely spot on with the rest of his assessment, and, for me, it is also this area in which this musician’s hugely varied output feels most natural. Based round three lengthy (thirteen minutes and over) pieces, but augmented by two shorter but no less cared for tracks, it’s clear that to engage with these subtle washes of sound and atmosphere you need to take your time and relax. Would it be unkind to call the 21 minutes of “A Journey Between Systems” background music? Well, it probably would, but as the background to your day it is a calming, settling companion.

As is often the case with his work, the harder you try to unravel the innermost thoughts of Daniel Crommie’s music, the busier it becomes tightening its grip on its secrets. Here, however, if you take a step back and allow “Ariel” and “Storm Front” to do all the hard graft, the more their innermost intentions try to become clear, although for some they will doubtless fall on the beige side of uneventful.

Don’t expect Storm Front to be the sort of journey that readily invites you in, instead the five tracks here seem to run alongside you, giving the merest nod in your direction as they gently suggest you step into their world for an hour or so.

Track Listing
1. Storm Front
2. Ariel
3. The Howling Moon
4. A Journey Between Systems
5. Blues in B-flat (Band Camp exclusive track)

Added: October 11th 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Storm Front @ bandcamp
Hits: 846
Language: english

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Crommie, Daniel: Storm Front
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2018-10-11 22:54:50
My Score:

Here’s another new release from electronic/ambient texturalist Daniel Crommie. As with all his solo albums Crommie plays all the instruments himself including flutes, analogue and digital synthesizers and samples. The album is titled Storm Front and although it is broken up into four tracks totaling fifty-three minutes you could almost consider this one very long piece. As with much of Crommie’s work the music is very textural with mood laden soundscapes of processed flutes and droning synthesizers. The builds are slow and methodical taking a generous amount of time to evolve, often in subtle ways. Sometimes the elements are more spacey like in the title track but there is a common thread between these pieces that makes them hard to separate.

As one can imagine this isn’t music to dance to nor to get the party started. It is, however, music to relax to, to let your mind drift into the hazy spaces between the notes. Another fine release for ambient music fans to dig into.

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