Matthew Kidd is a defector from the mainstream. Wishing to no longer follow its rules, Marc Byrd and Andrew Thompson help Kidd take a deep dive into a more open realm. The duo known as Hammock take part in a few tracks on the self-titled Slow Meadow (62'04"), but it is fully Kidd's project. Coming up with something new, something which will contribute substantially to the Ambient Chamber Music canon, is no easy task. With lesser musicians at its helm this album might seem slight and predictable. Its dreamy mix of gentling fuzzing guitars, shape-shifting digital breaths and skeletal string backdrops emerge out of a subtly attuned mind - to cause the listening mind to hush and fall in line with the slow pace. A few of the tracks flow together, which conjures a somewhat extended sonic space. We occasionally encounter a rawness, as if the medium of recording was disintegrating, or glowing under dissipative effects - which Slow Meadow contrasts with sonorous glimpses of delicacy and intimacy. Each of the 11 tracks on Slow Meadow feature consonant textures beneath a hope-tinged atmosphere. Upon closer examination we find this quality to be produced using synthesizers, piano, strings, trumpet, electric guitar, and maybe even some voices. What is not so apparent to us is why this beautiful music seems so fragile? Is it the metamorphosis of an imaginative psyche? The externalization of the spirit? A rapport with humanity? Kidd's music may get heard by accident, but it was not made by accident. His release Slow Meadow may be compared in quality and effect to that of its predecessors. Due to its expansive promise this style seems inexhaustible - as musicians and their listeners are constantly seeking more from it. This work is not just a distant observation - pushing rows of notes around a room in a conversation with the intellect. Fundamental in it is the idea that people are reachable, that beauty and music can make a difference.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 30 July 2015