Reviews

"...the pianist Hume and the drummer May create a beguiling soundscape whose delicate shifts of mood and texture are simple but extraordinarily effective. ..."

Phil Johnson  The Independent

"...The minimalist romanticism is omnipresent.."

Avant Music News

"..Landscapes of extraordinary effect in a world that seems decidedly far away and lost between nothing and nothingness..."

All About Jazz

"......‘intriguing and often haunting..."

Andy Hamilton  Jazz Review

Jazz Views

Ken Cheetham  'Kill the Lights'


Hume and May have recorded and performed together for some twenty years now, this being their sixth album together on Leo Records.  This is very much an album of ‘Ambient’ music, so named by Brian Eno, author of Ambient 1: Music for Airports (Polydor Records, 1978).  Eno did not invent the genre, but that album was the first to be fabricated expressly within the ambient music convention.

So is this music atmospheric, cinematographic, minimalist, intended and designed to reduce anxiety and tension, and truly “as ignorable as it is interesting” that would “induce calm and a space to think.”  These words are Brian Eno’s, borrowed from his sleeve notes for Music for Airports.

There is more.  Kill the Lights also encompasses jazz and free improv used to create swathes of sonic landforms of exotic heights and mysterious depths.  These soundscapes exhibit subtle modifications of disposition and consistency that render them unassuming but particularly efficacious.  The piano playing is at times entrancing, chords muffled as though in the vast and empty confines of a cathedral, yet retaining delicacy and vagueness.

Paul May is highly thought of in the free improv community, playing in a broad range of groups all with different notions to the idea of ‘free’.  He has been active in the formation of numerous groups and collaborators and his six albums with Hume have been well received.

Hume and May together show that they too can follow the generally accepted tenet in the land of the Free – they listen and can hear.  Throughout Kill the Lights the music remains cohesive, retaining an unswerving sound and disposition.

"The emphasis is still clearly free improvisation, but there has always been a songlike pulse in almost every Hume/May performance"

Brian Morton  Jazz journal

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