Motor City artist Alister Fawnwoda`s last musical missive was a dance-floor directed E.P., co-produced with Omar S. at the latter`s famed FXHE Studio. On his next, Milan, he throws what could be considered a complete creative curveball, with a quintet of compositions recorded in collaboration with guitarist Greg Liesz and celebrated synthesizer / new age pioneer, Suzanne Ciani. Effectively a suite, where field recorded winds and waves are caressed by Ciani`s keyboard-generated surf, and Leisz` pedal steel poetry sings the blues – wistful whale song longing, a sound I believe resonates deep within our ancestral, evolutionary DNA. The album representing a definite journey, that opens stately, serene, travelling through buzzing Buchla tides, to frequency fanfares, crashing and fizzing, as if caught in gravity’s pull. Ciani`s electronics are restrained and subtle, her computerized calm slowly rising from gently rocking warm womb-like LFOs, to bubbling kosmische clusters, peaking emotively on the climatic Snow Ritual. Leisz` fretwork is delicate with microtonal detail, intricate, interwoven, lattice and lace-like. Mimicking a melancholy bowed violin / cello ache, while sirens seem to sigh subliminally, secretly, in the sustain. His touches of tremolo`d lead painting Peter Green pictures. The two musicians moving together in symbiotic synergy, ego-less, with no grandstanding or soloing.
Just like the epic expanse of Lo Recording New Maps Of Inner Space – which I reviewed recently – this is mood-altering magic, sonics to subdue stress and anxiety, and for a moment, make at least an imagined sun shine. A soundtrack super suitable for morning yoga, or that first cough and coffee. Summoning deserted, secluded, shores at daybreak, as if waking with fresh wonder at the world. I`d say it was a surprise, coming kinda outta nowhere, essential listen, especially if you’re a fan of BJ Cole, GS Schray, Raymond Richards` The Lost Art Of Wandering, Steve Gunn & Mike Cooper`s fantastic 2014 FRKWYS set, and / or Eno & Lanois` otherworldly Apollo atmospherics.
Alister Fawnwoda`s Milan will be released by AKP Recordings on September 24th.