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Wingfield, Mark: Tales From the Dreaming City

British guitarist Mark Wingfield follows up his well received 2015 release Proof of Light with the equally adventurous and arguable even more impressive follow-up Tales From the Dreaming City on MoonJune Records. Appearing alongside Wingfield is bassist Yaron Stavi and drummer Asaf Sirkis, along with special guest Dominique Vantomme on synthesizer on a few tracks.

As guitar players go, Wingfield is top notch. Embracing not only the jazz & prog luminaries from the '70s like Fripp, Holdsworth, Zappa, and Rypdal, Wingfield also touches on elements of Vai, Satriani, and Belew, incorporating blazing lead lines, whammy bar theatrics, and quirky melodies for a style that is exquisite ear candy for the listener. Just listen to him wail over the complex rhythms from Stavi & Sirkis on the wonderful "I Wonder How Many Miles I've Fallen", while the lovely jazz-meets-prog of "The Way to Hemingford Grey" just bristles with hooks and impressive solos from Wingfield, Stavi, and Vantomme. "Sunlight Cafe" contains some great grooves and weaving solos, "Looking Back At The Amber Lit House" is great, expressive jazz, "This Place Up Against The Sky" a lovely, Holdsworth styled fusion romp with outstanding guitar & bass solos, and "A Wind Blows Down Turnpike Lane" a groove laden track fueled by expert drumming and loads of blazing lead guitar solos. Hints of King Crimson/ Robert Fripp styled soundscapes appear on the lengthy "At A Small Hour Of The Night", and bits of quirky prog collide with '70s fusion on the classy closer "The Green-Faced Timekeepers", Wingfield dropping in some stunning lead lines alongside Sirkis' crisp drumming, Stavi's wonderful bass solos, and Vantomme's exploratory synth excursion.

It's not a far stretch to proclaim Mark Wingfield one of MoonJune's rising stars, and one can easily say that Tales From the Dreaming City is easily one of the label's strongest releases of 2018 but also a must hear instrumental album of the year as well. If you are waiting for the next guitar hero, look no further!

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing
1. The Fifth Window 05:09
2. I Wonder How Many Miles I've Fallen 07:19
3. The Way To Hemingford Grey 05:54
4. Sunlight Cafe 05:57
5. Looking Back At The Amber Lit House 06:47
6. This Place Up Against The Sky 05:46
7. At A Small Hour Of The Night 08:03
8. A Wind Blows Down Turnpike Lane 04:27
9. Ten Mile Bank 05:36
10. The Green-Faced Timekeepers 07:52

Added: July 18th 2018
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Artist Facebook Page
Hits: 1234
Language: english

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Wingfield, Mark: Tales From the Dreaming City
Posted by Eric Porter, SoT Staff Writer on 2022-07-03 14:22:37
My Score:

A direct quote from Mark Wingfield: “Each track on this album tells a different story, perhaps about a time or event in someone’s life, or moments shared by a group of people. They weave together specific moods and atmospheres which could connect to the experiences of many people both real and imaginary. I sometimes glimpse atmospheres of mystery and subtle magic in streets of 19th century buildings and old villages hidden in the countryside. Those locations hold the traces of so many lives an experiences, form the past the present and the future. I wanted to capture this in the texture of the music.”

I would have to say Mark Wingfield was successful in his quest to capture the imagery he is trying to convey. The music here is spacey and atmospheric, and Wingfield’s expressive guitar playing is allowed to float above the atmospheres created. But, you can connect with this music; it doesn’t feel random or drifty in the least. The more I listen, the more I hear, and it continues to draw me further in. Wingfield often creates horn like tones, and it seems the whammy bar is never far, but it is used in a subtle and nuanced way. He’s obviously a skilled player, and can make his guitar howl, scream, and cry when called upon. Don’t be fooled by the use of atmospheric, drummer Asaf Sirkis and bassist Yaron Stavi get a number of opportunities to display their prowess. Dominique Vantomme adds synthesizer textures to 4 tracks that help to expand the soundscapes. There are a number of excellent moments to be found, haunting melodies, and if you are a guitar lover it is front and center.

This is most definitely a grower, and I am thinking in a few more weeks of listening, this rating could easily rise. It didn’t grab me on the initial listen, and I could chalk it up to needing to be in the right mood to listen to this music. But, I am certainly glad I decided to give this one multiple spins, and definitely plan to keep it in the rotation.

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