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Flaming Tunes: Flaming Tunes

Flaming Tunes was a project formed by Gareth Williams and Mary Currie with the help of a few guest musicians. Williams, who unfortunately passed away at the age of 48, is best known for his work with the RIO band This Heat. I cannot compare this release to his previous band as I have yet to hear it. Flaming Tunes was originally recorded in 1985 on cassette, and the musicians used whatever instruments they could find at the time. Williams had previously been to India on a few occasions and the experience had a profound influence on him. The music is quite simple with a heavy nod towards minimalistic avant-garde and/or experimental.

The instrumentation is very sparse, so if you are expecting a rich, full sound this will not be for you. Simple mellow arrangements and slow tempos is the order of the day. There are some nice melodies throughout the CD and I quite like William's singing style. His slow delivery can be quite catchy and his voice has a unique tonal quality which I like.

The experimental "Another Flaming Tune" begins the album with sparse percussion and weird effects that include occasional bursts of sound and a steady buzzing noise lasting the entire song. It is a strange tune and not one of my favourites. Things do improve with the next couple of songs. "Beguiling The Hours" is a slow number with an almost circus-like melody which William's voice carries well. The gentle plucking of guitar and spoken voice starts the folky "The Best Weapon" featuring only Williams on instruments. Again, the arrangement is simplistic, but it works well in the context of the song. "A To B" features some nice acoustic guitar, prominent bass and like all the songs, a slow tempo. My favourite song is the melodic "Breast Stroke", a charming little number where William's gives his most heartfelt vocal performance.

However, not every song works for me. I found "Raindrops From Heaven" with its nature sound effects to be too long and the repeating melody in "B To A" to be somewhat boring.

While I was not totally enamored with this release, overall it was a pleasant enough listen. There are some nice melodies and I do like William's singing throughout the CD. If you listen to RIO you should probably check this out. This may also appeal to folk music fans.

Track Listing:
1. Another Flaming Tune
2. Beguiling The Hours
3. The Best weapon
4. A To B
5. Breast Stroke
6. Raindrops From Heaven
7. Restless Mind
8. B To A
9. Golden Age
10. It's Madness
11. Generous Moon

Added: September 4th 2009
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 2121
Language: english

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