The combination of Peter Chilvers and Jon Durant expand upon their Always Golden Sands EP with a full album typified by ambient vistas.
Release date: 15th January 2021
Label: Bandcamp (links below)
Format: DL / stream
Peter Chilvers and Jon Durant’s Transatlantic collaboration proving more than fruitful. Following up their Always Golden Sands EP (our review where we set the scene for the sessions) a further five tracks make up an album that they’ve aptly titled Vista. More of the same? You bet, with Chilvers and Durant on a roll.
Three relatively shorter pieces open up with Quarantine that emerges with sonar droplets akin to the Floyd’s Shine On You Crazy Diamond. There’s an underlying current whose depth seems ominous but remains deep-rooted. The sound of sensory deprivation (with the obvious caveat). Once again, we’re treated to a sense that each musician, despite being thousands of miles apart, has an innate sense of the path each other is proposing and where to take the music.
More ominous sounds herald the start of Hamlet. In four and a half minutes, it passes through several moods including some easy lounge ambience and then into a finale which I’d compare to the atmospheres of Yes’ South Side Of The Sky with some brief but very Steve Howe-like guitar runs. The shortest but possibly most interesting of the five pieces.
Age Of Steam rolls quirkily along along with the piano and guitar chiming over the gentle rhythms which I’d like to call throbs, yet are more like a barely detectable pulse. The piano work, exploring the art of where not to play, reminds me of Craig Potter’s work in Elbow. Just hanging in there waiting for the right moment.
Vista also throws in the kitchen sink in offering up some more challenging extended arrangements. More a case of lowering it gently into the water rather than creating a huge splash. Can the interest be maintained over ten and twenty minutes?Ten minutes is spent on Embers which is aptly titled. Glowing and growing, fading and simmering, it occasionally sounding like Genesis. Thta’s the Genesis circa 1974, loosening up and vibing circa The Lamb’s Waiting Room with weird noises humming, scurrying and skittling back and forth across the piece.
Sunset is their extended twenty-one minute epic a la Mike Oldfield, channeling a peaceful chilled out atmosphere. A mood to match the title. Peaks and troughs conspicuous by their absence, this is a genuinely mellow piece. A chance to switch off and drift through time and space. Vista is a perfect antidote to the intense bump and grind that challenges us all.
Here’s a hint of what to expect with a reminder of Almost Autumn from the Always Golden Sands EP: