Firstly here the album title is actually a symbol of a triangle so just get that in your head and think about going through that shape in the Play School Window (showing my age here). Secondly, well this album is one I had to put down and come back to a couple of times as it is certainly different and there was something déjà vu wise I had to work out about it, more on that later. This is another case of an extreme artist thinking outside the box and doing something completely the opposite from what they are used to. The artist in case here is Jeff Grimal who is guitarist in The Great Old Ones and normally powering away with mighty riffs and fighting all manner of Lovecraftian nasties in the process. Here though he is showing his much more delicate side in work the label somewhat accurately describe as Acoustic Hypnotic.
Exploring harmony and experimenting with form and composition, the result here is 9 tracks and just over 40 minutes worth of music. It’s not all Grimal’s work as guests are utilised to expand the musical canvas so don’t be surprised to hear such other accoutrements as a cello giving this an even more classical edge at times. As we gaze into ‘Andromede’ there are hints of this style especially in the classic guitar-work and also a near folk etch that could have escaped from back in time and a soundtrack to Summer Isle. The string accompaniment is gorgeous and as for the guitar itself Grimal is making it absolutely sparkle. This is an album for those looking for relaxation and atmosphere, far removed from the extremity of TGOO and it is what can only be looked upon as a much more personal work. I have found it to have a real Americana flavour to it far removed from any Gallic charm and it takes me to a timeless place as the guitar and sound is given free range to frolic and gambol, at times its sound is even babbling and close to speaking to me. Light and fluffy there is an almost air like elemental quality to tracks like ‘Contact’ and indeed it’s easy to float off with them. Although this certainly won’t be for everyone the skills of the playing really shine through and the notes practically come alive with the music and although mainly instrumental a crooning vocal chorus surfs out on 3rd track ‘Attraction’ which would have the Beach Boys grabbing their boards and racing for the waves.
A darker and eerier tone creep in on ‘Landing’ and I am wondering just where we have landed. You could imagine the ghost of Johnny Cash brooding over at times and I am in a barren woody wasteland of rivers and trees in the heart of the USA imagining a murder taking place. I am back to that feeling of familiarity but it has not quite clicked in yet. A piano adds to the melody and sombrely tinkles away. I am totally absorbed and imagination is flowing as I try and decipher a story at the heart of it all. Suddenly with ‘Magellan’ it comes to me and the darker tones suddenly pitch me up at the Rivers Edge. Yes this has the same feeling and form as well as melody in essence as the main theme from the excellent film directed by Tim Hunter in 1987 and starring Keanu Reeves, Crispin Glover and Dennis Hopper. It’s a film if you had seen you would never have forgotten and the guitar work does really correspond to Jürgen Knieper’s main theme; I have found my murder and now that is in my head I simply cannot get it out. I have to wonder if Grimel has seen the film and whether consciously or not has been similarly affected by its moods and emotions here? It’s a similarly wonderful piece of music and to me the very anchor of the album.
Following this we twist and turn down the two part Monocerotis taking from earth to space and gaze at the cosmos along with the glittering wonderment of the acoustic work, twinkling like stars on a clear night sky, the cello lushly augmenting the astral path. The title track adds gravity with denser sound and almost jazz like drum rhythms before we literally return to earth with the final piece ambient soundscape.
So a very interesting and intriguing journey, one that may take listeners out of a normal comfort zone but all round a richly rewarding one. The disc also came packaged with gorgeous gold artwork on white casing and the whole experience has been well worth absorbing. Listen to the album yourself at the Bandcamp link below and see just where it takes you.
(8/10 Pete Woods)