"Solar Echoes" is the name of a double album by an ambient electronic artist named Nigel Stanford, who is a native New Zealander and now lives in New York. Nigel Stanford is the kind of musician that has a deep sense of how precise and well-adjusted things have to be in order to produce an efficient music track. And "Solar Echoes" is a clear-cut demonstration of his attention to detail. This is one of those rare albums that doesn't just include great music but it's actually very moving. It's a cinemascape of electronic genius reminiscent of Jon Hopkins and Eno. The quality of sound engineering on this album is at the highest level and although compositionally the music isn't hugely complicated, it doesn't need to be to transport you into another world. This is one of those rare electronic albums that was written for music's sake rather than for a festival crowd.
TimeScapes was the first 4k movie, featuring stunning time-lapse footage from Tom Lowe, the Astronomy Photographer of the Year. This album is immersive, dramatic, and engaging, without becoming maudlin. Stanford avoids tropes and simple repetition to weave compelling tone poems that evolve and develop - in the best tradition of Heart of Space.
Deep Space is a set of "compelling trance rhythms (and) expansive themes" from John Stanford. He juxtaposes acoustics and electronics throughout the set. They play off each other and sequenced rhythms run around and inside the atmospheres. The pace evolves into a techno beat. While the atmospheres and samples are definitely sci-fi, the rhythms ground the set and take it to a new ambient groove. In that style, this is a great disc. Overall, however, it is good. This CD will appeal to fans of the Orb, Banco de Gaia, Eat Static, and System 7.
Automatica is the new album from YouTube and social media sensation Nigel Stanford whose wildly popular 2014 video, Cymatics, heralded a brand-new synthesis of music, art and physics. This album takes Stanford s trademark synthesis of dance-pop, electronica and technological innovation to a new level and features a groundbreaking new title-track video. For the Automatica single/video Stanford came up with the idea of programming robots to play instruments keyboards, bass, drums and after a month of programming, Stanford had achieved a technologically stunning video. Automatica is the first Stanford album with vocals and features guest singers Catey Shaw, Elizaveta, Dallin Applebaum and rapper Noah Caine.
Medieval Baebes and other far greater shocks to the bourgeoisie have come along. Wild adventures placed under the rubric of performances of Vivaldi's Four Seasons are commonplace. Yet Nigel Kennedy continues to roost atop the classical sales charts in Europe, and even to command a decent following in the U.S. despite a low American tolerance for British eccentricity. How does he do it? He has kept reinventing himself successfully. Perhaps he's the classical world's version of Madonna: he's possessed of both unerring commercial instincts and with enough of a sense of style to be able to dress them up as forms of rebellion. Inner Thoughts is a collection of slow movements – inner movements of famous concertos from Bach and Vivaldi to Brahms, Bruch, and Elgar.
A 7CD collection tracing Nigel Kennedy’s journey from the phenomenal Elgar concerto with Vernon Handley in 1984 through to his ground-breaking Vivaldi Four Seasons with the English Chamber Orchestra in 1989 – the recording which launched him to global super-stardom. “If it wasn’t for a spiky-haired Nigel Kennedy’s 1989 recording of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons,” the Classic FM radio station told its website’s readers a few years back, “you and I might not be listening to Classic FM today”. The station had launched in 1992 with a mission to bring classical music to a wider public, three years after the runaway success of young violinist Nigel Kennedy’s Vivaldi album had revealed an untapped audience just waiting for the right invitation.
If anyone has earned the right to mess around with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons it is Nigel Kennedy, the violin world’s Marmite violinist. Remember how fresh he made this music sound on his recording of a quarter-century ago? This latest version offers a ferment of all he’s played since – concertos, jazz, Jimi Hendrix. It’s affectionate and irreverent in equal measure, and Kennedy and his Orchestra of Life never sound less than riveting. Pretty much all Vivaldi’s notes are there; around, above and in between them come interjections, overlays and linking passages involving guest musicians from jazz and rock: Orphy Robinson, Damon Reece, Z-Star and others. Spring is welcomed in by a distant-sounding intro on an electric-guitar. Summer’s storms bring forth bursts of crazily sampled static. Autumn tears off at a cracking pace, but with a jazz trumpet sauntering lazily over the top. It all sounds like a colossal jam session from the inside of a Botticelli painting.