Repetitive piano sounds, touches of soft rain, melancholy and bothering distress. This is how James Blackshaw’s new album starts.
4 minutes and 12 seconds go by and no traces of acoustic 12 strings to be found anywhere. I check again, that I am listening to All Is Falling, his new album he released with Young God.
Yes, it is. This repetitive playing is familiar but it’s not the same Blackshaw. And when the second song enters, with an electric guitar, I understands that either something changed in the matrix, or that Blackshaw made another artistic leap forward, like he always do in each album. And when the cello enters and introduce me to the melancholy of a hot summer night in a little farm in the UK country side, I stop everything I give the full attention this album requires. And it carries me away. This is so beautiful.
And this amazing journey continues. He winds, goes through the new orchestrated style which is the new album, his spirit passes through the nameless songs, chews the heart with whiny violins and brings the Scottish melancholy of Mogwai into the influences of Robbie Basho that I only know they’re there in his mind – but it doesn’t show in this album at all.
He creates a new mixture, a fusion point of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells meets Popol Vuh’s Hosianna Mantra meets minimal classic-modern composers like Steve Reich and others.
The Glockenspiel and the electric 12 strings and the strings only means one thing – James Blackshaw is a cinematic orchestra.
He released this album in 24th of August, which is the date I released my debut album Remember in the US. I heard the album on the 23rd. It filled me with inspiration about music and creation and about artistic vision. It also brought me the crave to do more then just writing on this album. So I decided I gotta talk to him, we scheduled a Skype conversation, talked for 75 minutes, it was great, and I learned couple of things.
[An interview with James Blackshaw]
[Audio from the new album]
James Blackshaw – All Is Falling – Part 5
[RYIL] Mike Oldfield, Steve Reich, Robby Basho, Bartok