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CD Feature/ Paul Bradley: "chroma"

img  Tobias

Whatever your exact translation of the term “chroma” may be, it always has to do with colours. Which makes it a perfect match for the music of Paul Bradley, whose pure and spaceous dronescapes have always made it easy to draw parallels to the visual world and to painting. Even more than with any of his previous albums, however, it is almost perfectly spent on this, his seventh effort as a solo artist, as it sees Bradley noticeably expanding his palette of aural timbres.

The sounds are definitely more airy and open, the moods lighter and more permeable and the tonal colours more earthly grounded than ever before: Warm brown, yellow and clay shades contrast with the familiar liquid blue one has come to appreciate from preceeding works and while there are still moments of scantness and alienation, the general ambiance is inviting and friendly. Much more than an intellectual or conceptual swing, “chroma” comes across as a summer-fantasy by an Englishman, dreamed up by pot after pot of strong black tea and watching the wet streets from behind curtains of rain. This impression is solidified by the fact that Bradley’s compositions are still made up of only a few distinct elements and rely on gentle modulations and even complete stasis instead of forced changes and shocking surprises. And still, this record does sound different from anything he has done, if only for the fact that it is divided into seven short to medium length segments, including one and a half minute scenes and only just extending into the ten-minute range on the somewhat more stretched-out cuts. The different parts actually enhance the otherwordly and timeless nature of the music. As if watching a highway glowing in the burning sun, the flickering heat radiated by these tracks turns into a sensation of its own, morphing and loosing its form, yet bringing forth temporary concrete forms and kind showers of light. If anything, the result is even more loveable, a warm oasis where you can lay your worries to rest and enjoy the beauty of the moment.

The more diversified nature of the material creates a fluctuacting space and a movement absent from most of Paul Bradley’s other releases, yet its webs are maybe even more fragile, suggesting they ought not to be disturbed. This music is ideal for situations of unhurried solitude and for concentrated creative working - such as painting, for example.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Paul Bradley/Twenty Hertz Recordings
Homepage: Paul Bradley/Twenty Hertz Recordings at MySpace

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