Artist: James Murray & Francis M Gri
Album: Remote Redux

Label: Ultimae
Released: 17 October 2019

Remote Redux
Throughout its many quiet moments, on Remote Redux (55'06") we find collaborators James Murray & Francis M Gri opening up and breathing in. Locating a power somewhere within the soft pastel peaks and dark portentous undercurrents their six tracks seethe, burn and roll. In places the music blurs, yet soon cools into a clear vivid frost. Wherever a current of restlessness emerges, further in the shivering quality of this album's atmosphere crisply chills and stills. As synth voices combine with sustaining guitar strings we feel a shift toward spare, soft-focus Ambient Music. When granular textures are replaced by the smooth stillness of sustaining drones, the sensations emitted from Remote Redux will vary. The tones produced enliven and comfort and co-exist with more experimental moments. In the heartfelt interiority this duo may be imagined weaving threads of thin copper wire in which to connect us all together. Yet further out, rounded notes unfurl steadily in graceful caressing phrases. Gently vibrating chords sweep in brighter passages - as atmosphere and texture have taken us over completely. Murray & Gri are destined to always feel a little adrift. Their Remote Redux will indeed provide a tranquilizing effect on the listener, but one from which we emerge more present, grateful and less alone - and with the faith that we can make a better future. From a calm center, this pair speaks in the voice of tomorrow.

Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   12 March 2020

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