The intriguing Float label resurface with a new full-length from Szun Waves member Luke Abbott. Music From The Edge Of An Island finds Abbott paring back his aesthetic for a collection of sparse, thoughtful contemporary classical pieces.
While Music From The Edge Of An Island may be released in conjunction with Nils Frahm’s Piano Day 2019, much of what we have here was actually composed on MIDI keyboards and Virtual Studio Technology. It’s never entirely apparent if the array of tones heard across this LP have been generated live or in the box. Piano pieces that clearly draw from Michael Nyman are circled by strings, glacial pads and drones inspired by Javanese Gamelan, but the listener is kept guessing as to which sounds are ‘real’ and which are ‘manufactured’.
Abbott’s willingness to blur boundaries extends to his compositional style. The genesis of Music From The Edge Of An Island came from some stuff Abbott wrote for Jessica Hynes’ 2018 movie The Fight. Inspired by the film’s coastal setting, Abbott made tracks that conjured images of “being on the edge of England, almost ready to fall off a cliff into the sea but keeping your balance on the edge.” It is no surprise, then, that there is a liminal and almost uncanny quality to some of the pieces here. The widescreen ambient style of artists like Sigur Ros is also invoked at points, something that pairs nicely with the thought of looking out over the sea.
Music From The Edge Of An Island exists between states - land and sea, synthetic and organic, true and false. Luke Abbott works these channels to create a strange and beguiling record.