Salute to the Sun features lush wholly improvised tunes inspired by ambient rainforest and jungle field recordings, deeply soulful tunes built around hypnotic harp and kalimba patterns, deep Strata-East inspired spiritual jazz grooves and some of Halsall’s most beautiful playing and inspiring healing melodies yet recorded.
The album was recorded at the band’s weekly sessions, using Halsall’s own recording set-up, giving the recordings a relaxed vibe and unforced energy that really lets the music breath. The album is also very much a family affair as Halsall’s brother Daniel Halsall, artistic director of Gondwana Records, was an important presence at the sessions and co-produced the album. It is also his memorable artwork that adorns the cover of Salute to the Sun, an album beautifully designed by legendary designer Ian Anderson of The Designers Republic, who also created the covers for the recent archival releases Oneness, Sending My Love and Colour Yes and is one of Halsall’s favourite designers. Together Daniel Halsall and Ian Anderson have designed all of Matthew’s seven albums to date, so it felt extra-special to bring them together for, Salute to the Sun, an album that Halsall was determined to present in the very best way possible. The album was mixed with another long-time collaborator, George Atkins at 80 Hertz in Manchester, who works tirelessly with Halsall to perfect the sound and was mastered by noted engineer Peter Beckmann who brings an added depth to the sound specially around the bass notes as well as Halsall’s trumpet.
The magnificent double vinyl was cut as a Half Speed master by Barry Grint at Alchemy Mastering for the best possible analogue experience. The result is arguably Halsall’s most beautiful and complete recording to date, playful, charming and imbued with the warmth of the sun and the energy of life.