(All Colours Arts. ACACDS003. CD Review by Patrick Hadfield)
Philip Clemo creates multifaceted music that spans several genres. Collaborating with jazz musicians and improvisers such as trumpeters Arne Henriksen, Byron Wallen and, on one track, Henry Lowther, tuba player Oren Marshall, drummer Martin France, and bassist John Edwards, together with modern-classical musicians such as cellist Peter Gregson and a large number of others, Dream Maps has elements of folk, jazz, rock, world and classical music, in a mixture that sounds both full and light. Clemo himself plays several instruments, as well making location recordings which he incorporates into the music.
Despite the large number of musicians credited, the music has a lot of space. It is hard to pull out individual contributions – from the review copy, it isn’t clear who plays on which tracks – but that would be to miss the point. The effect is to create mesmerising soundscapes that one can get lost in.
Using a large number of instruments (including such esoteric ones as ondes martenot and glass harmonica) and a range of effects and treatments, including barely audible vocals from Clemo, Henriksen and Evi Vine, the music has a symphonic scope. It is dreamlike. There are clearly elements of improvisation and rhythmic drive – there are three percussionists on the record – and at times a window which opens onto the minimalist universe of, say, Reich and Glass.
It might be that to try too hard to understand Dream Maps world break the spell. The elusive quality would escape. Instead, like post-modern trance, let it flow over you, before awakening, refreshed