Nash, Ben

The Seventh Goodbye [Rock / Alternative]

RELEASE: 02.05.2008

LABEL: Aurora Borealis

VERTRIEB: Cargo Records GmbH


Listening to BEN NASH's debut full-length "The Seventh Goodbye", its hard to remember that this is indeed his first full album, here and now, in 2008. Nash's music has the assurance and character of a musician far beyond his 23 years, let alone the sheer multi-disciplinary skill, and yet its largely warm and welcoming, and with an entirely timeless character all its own.

Ben Nash first came to AB's attention having picked up a self-released cassette from the Sheffield based distro and label Blackest Rainbow (who have pressed a ltd vinyl version of this release). It was immediately apparent that this was something very special and we pretty quickly offered to work with Ben on a future release. After several more tapes and CDrs, both self-released and on various micro-labels, growing in scope and ambition with every release, and a series of strange geographical and linguistic synchronicities, Ben finally got in touch about a full-length release.

So here it is: "The Seventh Goodbye". Clocking in at 34 minutes, its not an overly long album, but rather one that demands repeated listenings, a collage of so many layers, patterns and textures so as to be as dazzling as the plummage of the finest peacock in paradise. Musical elements as diverse as folk, raga, Eastern percussion, drone, prog and noise collide and coalesce as the album unfolds, with each of the eight tracks providing new twists and turns, with never an element out of place. The slow beginning of opener 'KUAD 9873' is a drone and vocal drenched movie score, chiming Western guitars building and dissolving in the sun before we move into the more unforgiving nocturnal territory of 'Night Call'; wind instruments trade cries with guitar scree, whispers and piano. Title track 'The Seventh Goodbye' is largely guitar based, with multiple tracks, rolling percussion, layered vocals and saxophone. That this should all be the work of one man is quite astounding, and its clear that comparisons with BEN CHASNY and VOICE OF THE SEVEN WOODS are more than mere flattery. 'Resolution' plays counter point to the drama of the previous track, a relatively short piece of solo guitar, psychologically much lighter. 'Smoke and Flattery' is largely percussive, with a variety of singing bowls, shakers, gongs and cymbals, before a vocal drone, handclaps and a simple bassline come in. Its perhaps the most Krautrock moment on the album, reminiscent of POPOL VUH, before the rhythms and melody dissipate into the ether as the track segues into 'Magnetophone 8 PtII', a slow building and intense piece with a fantastic distorted guitar climax boiling over into a wash of reverb drone. 'What will always be PtII' is the most beautiful track on the album, worthy of JACK ROSE or any other of the current cream of the solo guitar raga worshippers. No sooner have we grown accustomed to the beauty and light however, we find ourselves in the company of 'Angel #7', alone in the woods, the cries of the night creatures piercing the ringing in our ears. Its a strange journey indeed, full of many conflicting emotions, but one that you will instinctively take again and again. May it never end.

"A real beauty. Throughout there is mostly Ben's acoustic guitar picking - elegiac ragas similar to James Blackshaw. Side 2 opens with the meditative "Smoke & Flattery" - singing bowls, grizzled oms and incense-wreathed atmosphere. The rest of the side continues in cosmically dazed fashion with the next track sounding like Led Zep's more enchanted and folkier moments on the falling into the bliss of sleep. Highly recommended." - BOA MELODY BAR

(Quelle: Aurora Borealis, 2008)


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