A beautifully augmented duet from James Elkington and Nathan Salsburg. Ambsace reinvigorates Americana with intricate, delicate fingerpicking that’s as technically impressive as it is harmonious. With connections through Jeff Tweedy and Steve Gunn, these are seasoned players with a knack for nostalgia. Out on CD and vinyl LP from Paradise Of Bachelors.
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 15 September 2015The big sign stuck to the front reads “IAN WANTS”. But what gives? This is no terrible shoegaze. Instead it’s delightfully nimble guitar fingerpicking from the guy from Jeff Tweedy's projects and Steve Gunn and the guy from… er... no-one... just a guy. Let’s give two agile fingered men an acoustic guitar each, stick one in each ear and see what happens, shall we? Well, what results is gorgeous sun-dappled guitar compositions that twist and turn around each other the way any kind of wire gets tangled. There’s something utterly life affirming about compositions such as ‘Invention no 4’ - one part John Fahey and one part those most light of post rock groups such as Pullman and Jim O'Rourke’s Tweedy collab Loose Fur. In fact O’Rourke in ‘Bad Timing’ era is as good a comparison as I can think of. Not a note is discordant, everything fits nicely and if it’s all a little too nice for some ears… well, there’s plenty of discordance in this world already. On ‘The Narrowing of Grey Park’ the guitars trickle down like waterfalls as woody double bass joins the party. Three other comparisons before I go: Will Oldham’s ‘Ode Music’, sadly forgotten Scottish guitar master James Orr Complex and the lighter moments from the recent Ryley Walker. Things get a little novel when they cover The Smiths ‘Reel Around the Fountain’ which is nice but a little too knowing. Elsewhere it’s a constant delight.
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- Ambsace by James Elkington & Nathan Salsburg
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