by Philip Moss
The term ‘instrumental album’ can strike fear into even the most discerning music fan. But on this debut solo collection, Jim Wallis (Modern Nature, Still Corners) has produced an ambient record that somehow feels perfectly in tune with – and is indeed the perfect tonic for those looking to escape – modern times.
Opener, Return Train, is heavily piano based, while Europa I has a tense edge – both are brief, and recall Brian Eno’s genre defining Film Music. But it’s half way through Open Door where the the collection really takes a hold – synths waft in and out, and cellos, which are a feature throughout the LP, bring to mind Choir of Young Believers’ Hollow Talk. Lead single, Audition’s droning synths have a stirring, peaceful tranquility that fade to a simple, looped keyboard melody.
Ironically, Europa will be released on 31st January – the day the UK are set to leave the European Union. This record could just be the perfect tonic for that chaos that inevitably will surround such a monumental day in our history.
Secret Meeting score: 70