Friday, 14 August 2009

Keith Hill - Oceanfire EP2009

Keith Hill (Citizen Zen, and sometime Vert:X collaborator) has sent over this EP of music intended for his solo CD project Oceanfire, a work-in-progress sampler of tracks that will in the future be re-recorded along with guest musicians for an album proper. Keith describes the music as “a kind of space-rock, ambient, psychedelic and eclectic” mix, but goes on to qualify that with “don’t you just hate musical pigeonholing.” The seven tracks were recorded in June, 2009 and are available to listen to on-line via Keith’s Myspace page.

What, then, do we glean about Keith’s intended album by these extracts and impressions? Well, first off, that there’s a most interesting and enjoyable work-in-progress going on here. It opens with one of those short and sparkling fx tracks, this one called ‘New Lands’, before moving onto the darkly-laden ‘Antimatter’, another most effective short piece that is followed by a heavier space-rock track, ‘Accelerator’ that sounds like a great basis for a really rocking number when it’s fully worked-up. ‘Waves (Magnetic)’ has spoken-word laid over fx backdrops, and I know a lot of people like this sort of idea though I find them a bit overdone at times.

‘Waves (Hidden)’ is a floating, spacey, bliss-out, with the only guest appearance of the EP going to some absorbing saxophone by Chris Swift, a really good work, leading into a very effective tribal drums juxtaposed with aquatic synths and voice fx piece entitled ‘The Sixth Helix’. The EP plays out with a quietly understated synthesiser wash, ‘Dreamtime’, its notes lingering in the air like an atmospheric undersea walk-through. It’s certainly the case that Keith has some great concepts here to build upon for the album proper, and I’m really looking forward to hearing the fully realised results.

Keith Hill Myspace Page

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