Reviews of the 'Wake' album:


Carefully constructed out of a plethora of worn instruments (zither, accordion, chimes, melodica, and acoustic and electric guitars) together with some spine tingling field recordings, Jasper Leyland (aka Jonathan Brewster) has landed 2008's first utterly indispensable home listening album. Self restrained and masterful in equal measure, this 45 minute album manages to bring to mind Fennesz, Oren Ambarchi, Alva Noto, Mountains and Tape, evoking a fuzzy warmth without ever seeming overly familiar or aspirational. Its so hard to get this kind of music right, but Leyland manages to stick to a sparse palette without ever sounding barren, and conveys a glowing sonic tapestry without ever using any clichéd "ambient" devices. Opening with a momentary flash of white noise, the album unfolds with solo guitar and delicate processing, taking its time to seduce you into its velveteen inner environs. Track 3 layers guitar and chimes in a reverberating loop of utter loveliness, possessing the kind of widescreen qualities you wouldn't expect from such a stripped setup. The album closes with a stretched hum of instruments, a blissful requiem that is both inviting and isolated, painting a monochrome still life that echoes hope, self reflection and a quiet joyfulness. Incredibly lovely stuff - ESSENTIAL PURCHASE.



Well, this is an absolute cracker of a release. Following on from Jodi Cave and Matt Rosner, Jasper Leyland delivers a simply sublime collection of tracks. Having been a fan for ages it's great to hear another full length work that's as cohesive and understated as this and the way the tracks shimmer between deep, static drenched soundscapes and gently manipulated guitar trickery is just beautiful. There's a gentle sense of melody and lovingly crafted arrangements that feel slightly improvised... none of the background sound is taken away and so you get a rich, earthy feel. A great album indeed and props must go out to Jonathan for delivering another superb work. It definitely was worth the wait!

Mike Oliver, Smallfish, February 2008


Next set of reviews ('Fieldstone')

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