Black Vinyl. For more than three decades now Sydney pianist and composer Chris Abrahams has developed a singularly iconic body of work. Known widely for his work with trio The Necks, Abrahams solo works have carved out an entirely otherworldly realm in sound. His explorations of organ, electronics, and piano capture a restless curiosity and timbral interrogation that only deepens with each of his releases. With Follower, his compositional language further expands. Melodies cascade with a cinematic pacing, spilling out over the top of harmonic electronics and unsteady percussive elements. He creates a sense of opening and space, a field within which we become lost and utterly consumed by the evolving states he casts into focus. On the opening track, "Costume", bass piano meanders through a wilderness of de-tuned bells and organ swells; a strange sort of festival. Low frequency sighs evenly punctuate, like a pump or a heartbeat. It's a procession that takes it time as it wanders the terrain, brought to a close with transcendent distortion. On the second piece, "New Kind of Border", muscular modal piano surfs among waves of percussion and analog synthesizers. A buffeting travel. Follower is Abrahams's sixth album for Room40 and it showcases his continuing interest in the ambiguous spaces between music and noise; tonality and atonality; rhythm and texture.
All four tracks have piano as a key factor: in one instance, high-pitched and atonal; in another, emotive yet distant as if projected on to a screen. Follower presents the listener with a sound world of colorful juxtapositions, rich orchestration and organically open forms.
Masterful and incredibly beautiful music - late night / solo-immersion highly recommended.