AMN Reviews: Matthew Shaw – Equinox (Self-Released)

R-4966151-1382622046-2949.jpegMatthew Shaw´s Equinox, recorded during the vernal celestial intersection in Christchurch, Dorset, is an earnest, microcosmic event. An alchemist at marrying the field recording and drone worlds, Shaw turns the base metal of domestic, avian cackle into ambient gold. Craning gradually backward from ground level upon the cello swell of E-bow guitar, the treetops are disturbed, stirring a cacophony of crows, thrushes and wood pigeons. A deep, throaty Moog synthesizer, dusting off seventies memories of the likes of Tomita electrifying Holst´s “Planets”, surges ever upward until it finds – a voice. Singing so gently it sounds more like hearing the thoughts going through his head, Shaw urges us to embrace the bigness and remember that we are stardust.

Shaw´s instrumental expressivity and philosophical sincerity is a refreshing tonic. Equinox is but one, small bright spot in an altogether empyrean discography.

Stephen Fruitman