Suzanne Kraft / Talk From Home / Melody As Truth

Melody As Truth has lined-up another repress of this musical marvel, the study in minimalism that is Suzanne Kraft’s Talk From Home. Recorded, solo, during the winter of 2014, it was released the following summer, and has been highly-prized and sought-after ever since. 

I can remember that first release clearly, as my family were on holiday, driving across Japan. Taking a week to travel and rendezvous with my mother-in-law down south in Kumamoto. Staying cheaply on campsites along the way. I wrote my review early one morning, walking, sneaking out in search of a convenience store and hot coffee, while my wife and sons were still in bed. Listening I imagined a couple, lovers, sharing a stark white room, one of them waking, with the sun`s first light, and watching the other. All thoughts of the world outside kept outside. 

The references I pulled in were Andras (then still going by “Fox”), Carl Orf`s Gassenhauer, along with Micheal Mann and Dante Spinotti`s stylish beach house designs for their movie, Manhunter. Listening again, six years later, now that I’m more verbose, and perhaps less “poetic”, I`m still struck by the set`s romantic air. I guess that the track, and its title, Renee Sleeping, are central to the story the album recounts to me. Floating, fluttering, feather-like keys, and light blue(s) guitar licks. A scene defined by Diego / Suzanne’s delicate touch. Following this line of thinking, Never Heated, perhaps refers to soul mates so aligned that arguments are unheard of.

These are loose compositions, simple, and consciously uncomplicated. Bass shared between slapped taut strings and an electronic counterpart. Machined percussion percolates gently, sometimes tumbling, racing, as young hearts do, while those truthful melodies come via careful electric picking – shaped as much by their measured meter, their sense of space, as the sound that they make. 

In places the guitar takes on an “infinite”, phased and distorted edge – a la Robert Fripp. Robin Guthrie in the reverb, Durutti Column in the use of delay. The latter double, triple, tracking the dexterity on display. Each note echoing into the next, and the next….The Steve Reich-ian ringing of Talk From Home teeters toward techno – John Beltran`s beautiful Ten Days Of Blue, or The Detroit Escalator Co.’s Black Buidings, a favourite of label-founder, Jonny Nash.  

The Result closes the album with a serene drone piece. A river-like run of bubbling live bass, anchoring sustained axe and organ shimmer. A nexus of new age, jazz, and post-rock. 

Suzanne Kraft’s timeless Talk From Home will be repressed later this month by Melody As Truth.

*In 2021 I again wrote this review on the move. This time it seemed oddly suited to the LED buzz of a semi-isolated shinkansen station, everyone in masks, waiting two metres apart, dreaming of somewhere else. 

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