The debut album-length collaboration of Jonny Nash and Suzanne Kraft is Passive Aggressive, and its a sweet and subtle suite of melodic ambience, composed with software synths, piano and guitar. Everything feels very clean and calming, with gentle traces of sleepy jazz lapping at the edges. Passive Aggressive is released on Nash’s own label, Melody As Truth.
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Jonny Nash and Suzanne Craft -- two guys, incidentally, only one of whom once pretended to be a woman but it’s too late to change things now, history has been written -- have got together and made another album of piano-and-synth-based ambience. It’s very tranquil stuff, this.
The duo’s second full-length record on Nash’s own label, Melody As Truth, starts very peacefully indeed. On ‘Photo With Grey Sky, White Clouds’, subtly humming and softly throbbing synths underpin gently meandering piano melodies. It’s sounds like these two have been enjoying a warm, still day at the beach. That single-handed piano tinkling presents the pair as being in no particular hurry to get anywhere. An acoustic bass joins in towards the end in a half-hearted attempt to keep everyone awake.
The boys entitled the record Passive Aggressive, but I’m not feeling much in the way of attitude coming across. I’ll just call it ‘Passive’. You certainly won’t need to invest much effort to get the most out of this music; it’s horizontal aaaalll the way. That’s not to take anything away from the gorgeous moments: the interplay between synth ‘voices’ and deftly picked double-bass on ‘Refractory Cafe’ is a lovely moment of musical eloquence. It’s really one of the quietest, calmest, most soothing records I’ve heard in a long time. ‘Hanging Glass Structure’ features that lovely, hazily jazzy bass echoing itself amidst beautiful synth textures. The rest of the album reveals nothing to upset the apple cart. Deft guitar joins in for the track ‘Small Town’.
Nash and Craft have made a record that compares well with the lyrical ambience of Gigi Masin and Gaussian Curve. I was surprised to discover it wasn’t released by the Music From Memory label.
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