Since he joined Suzanne Kraft for a split 7" in November, Jonny Nash has kept the schedule brisk and the listening slow on his Melody As Truth imprint, first serving up the futurist fusion of Kraft's "What You Get For Being Young", and now returning to the long format himself for the paradisic sounds of "Eden". Recorded between Bali and the UK over the past 12 months, the LP offers seven deeply textured vignettes of island life, painting a vivid portrait of Ubud sunsets and verdant rice paddies. Fusing exotic percussion, layered field recordings and crystalline synth washes, "Agape" leads us through the early morning haze of a Seminyak market, the occasional rumble of droning bass reminding you of the island's permanent traffic jams. "Maroon Crisp" takes in the mid-day sun at Cafe Hijau, it's warm synth tones shimmering in the heat haze as the humid percussion chases delicate guitar and fragile piano through the swaying crops. Faint snatches of vocal and bleeping electronics introduce "Down In Babakan" as the humidity of the first two pieces is submerged in aquatic textures. Pealing gongs give us a sense of place while the flowing piano pleases the ears with mesmeric bursts of melody. Jonny closes out the A-side with his most rhythmic and most electronic MAT piece yet, the hypnotic "Ding Repair", which sees an ancient rhythm meet spacey UR-style synthesis before a pulsating bass sequence takes the lead in the final third. The B-side opens with the opiated beauty of "Conversations With Mike", an impressionistic combination of healing gongs, smooth chimes, dreamy harp and coastal guitar, all riding a languid bassline. Imagine Adrian Utley, Susumu Miyashita, Rudigar and Opperman giving an open air concert on the fertile slopes of a dormant volcano and you'll be catching the correct drift. "Police Bride" flows on perfectly; stripping back some of the more exotic elements to let first the piano, then the guitar weave their wonderful spell. Jonny closes this flawless set with a moment of true beauty, "Lime". Restrained and graceful, this pared back piece builds from an understated piano coda into a cushioned canopy of swooning guitar, neo classical percussion and full bodied bass, bringing proceedings to the most peaceful close. Majestic stuff.
STAFF COMMENTSPatrick says: After teasing us wonderfully with that split 7" at the turn of the year, Jonny Nash returns to Melody As Truth with more dreamtime magic for endless sunsets. Recorded somewhere between Bali and the UK, this ethereal, exotic set should increase your peace wonderfully.