The Balustrade Ensemble make an odd music, a kind of free-floating ambience with lashings of uncanny new age-ness. The Ensemble has plenty of instruments and even more production techniques at their fingertips, so that Renewed Brilliance perfectly conveys its very specific sound. Quite compelling. Out on Serein.
8/10 Laurie Staff review, 29 October 2015
The opening moments of The Balustrade Ensemble’s second album present to you the loungey, chorused electric guitars of 80s jazz fusion or Slowdive. You’re then subjected to a new age odyssey of epic proportions, featuring all sorts of instrumental wonders that’d make JD Emmanuel weep crystal tears.
Take a little peek at the credits on the sleeve of Renewed Brilliance and you will see that Scott Solter, as well as recording this, played the ‘tinted vapors’. Tinted vapors?? Must be some modern form of artistic ‘inspiration’. You can hear it too, the music being very colourful and glossy, almost like those day-glo things that the '90's shat into our houses. Here you will find glistening synth melodics and deep sweeping strings, even snatches of classical harmony buried beneath the elaborate production, sometimes bursting out into full on chamber mimicry as in ‘Show Us To The Sky’. They like their ambience, and the counterpoint to all this neo-classical new agey stuff in some slow-burning ambient new agey stuff. I think, but am not sure, that this is just about on the tasteful side of new age, with lots of wondrous twinkles playing melodies that are like breaths of fresh air but perhaps too fresh. I like a bit of smog in my air.
So yeah this is proper spacey and occasionally ridiculous stuff that just about errs on the side of caution, but I’ll let you be the judge of that one.
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- Renewed Brilliance by The Balustrade Ensemble
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