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Durant, Jon & Thelan, Stephan: Crossings

Crossings isn’t the first time that the guitar playing and composing partnership of Jon Durant and Stephan Thelan has come together, but it is the first album to appear under their joint billing, and I’ll say right from the off that I hope it won’t be the last. This is excellent stuff and no mistake, the duo between them adding fretless guitar, cloud guitar, effects, e-bow and loops to the more urbane electric guitars. And if that instrumental selection sounds like a collection that would create some atmospheric works, then you’d be correct. Imagine if you would, King Crimson intertwining with Klaus Schulze through the medium of various guitars and electronics and you’d go some way to describing what’s going on here, but in truth, that comparison is achieved much more through the inner intention than the outward results.

Often hypnotically repetitive with minimal changes barely even being discernible, the effect quickly becomes quite intoxicating, this twosome able to show a remarkable amount of patience as they unravel deeply complex passages that still prove easy on the ear. The eleven minute “Mise an Abyme” is a prime example but as it passes on the baton to the even longer title track, so you realise that this ability runs throughout Crossings. And it’s that deftness of touch and the willingness to resist temptation and not suddenly open out these intricate ideas into something more immediately gratifying that in the end makes them as engaging as they are.

“Fractal 5.7” possibly adds more obvious colour to proceedings and “Infinity” feels like a much more stark soundscape to a barren land that stretches on (ahem) infinitely, but the rewardingly single minded nature of this album really is one of its many strengths. Not only does that mark Crossings out as an undoubtedly accomplished endeavour but also one that insists you visit it time and again to further unwrap its inner mysteries.

Track Listing
1. Vol de Nuit
2. Sunrise
3. Mise en Abyme
4. Crossings
5. Fractal 5.7
6. Dream Sequence
7. Infinity

Added: April 2nd 2022
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Jon Durant @ bandcamp
Hits: 563
Language: english

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