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Russell, Ray: Fluid Architecture

Ray Russell is a session guitarist known for collaborations with Tina Turner, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and David Bowie, as well as his work on James Bond film soundtracks (The Spy Who Loved Me, Live and Let Die, The Man With a Golden Gun, You Only Live Twice, Octopussy). Not too shabby of a portfolio, one must admit. With that in mind, it's no surprise that his new album is a force to be reckoned with. The sheer diversity of music presented on Fluid Architecture instantly shows that this man has years of experience, and is not afraid to experiment.

"Escaping the Six-String Cage" explores a vast selection of sounds, not limited to guitar - it's a 10-minute soundscape that definitely will not leave you bored. What captured my heart here is Russell's slide playing - very ethereal and subtle. I'm a sucker for slide guitar in general. Other fantastic soundscapes hide under the names "Turn Right at Ventura" and "A Room Within a Room", but this time the music is much more pronounced, groovy, and simply fun to listen to! Ray Russell knows when and how to make a track subtle, when to let the guest musicians loose, and most importantly - how to write a long stretch of music that keeps you at the edge of your seat. In "Endure", we see Russell's blues side, and all I can say is - holy moly, what a track! Ray lets loose on the guitar without sacrificing the surprisingly catchy main melody. My favourite piece on the album, hands down. "We Go Back a Short Way!" and "Six In - Six Out" are a modern jazzman's take on world music, blending primal bass grooves with dynamic, unrelenting guitar. The blues licks come back in "The Conversation", but it's a very different piece than "Endure" - much more laid back and ambient, sounding like an outtake from The Division Bell sessions.

Fluid Architecture is an album dripping in beautiful moments. It puts Ray Russell's creativity and versatility up for everyone to see - from 10-minute not-quite-ambient pieces like "Escaping the Six-String Cage" to engaging, lyrical (despite being fully instrumental!) "Endure", this man has it all. Mr. Russell, you've just earned a new fan.

Track Listing:
1. Escaping the Six-String Cage
2. Turn Right at Ventura
3. Moon Dog
4. Endure
5. We Go Back a Short Way!
6. The Conversation
7. One for Geoff
8. Six In - Six Out
9. A Room Within a Room

Added: March 18th 2021
Reviewer: Maciej Slowik
Related Link: Artists @ Bandcamp
Hits: 762
Language: english

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