Music: Simon Goff – Vale (7K!, 2021)

The british violist and composer released his stunning debut. „Vale“ is a truly statement in both aware and intent. Goff isn‘t a complete newcomer, so he already has collaborations with such outstanding artists like Thor Harris, Johann Jóhannsson, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Dustin O’Halloran and Yair Elazar Glotman.

Born and raised in York, a british town in the north/eastern part of England, Goff explored many different music styles in the past couple of years. Back in 2019 Goff receives the Grammy for his contribution to the score Chernobyl. As the album title suggests, Vale is a flat land area of York. The valley is an important agricultural area and serves as the main north-south transport corridor for northern England. Like the valley himself Goff builds connections between organic, analogue and synthetic sounds. If feels like a love letter to his home country in a special way. In parts the album also describes Brexit-scarred consciousness of British citizens living overseas.

The album starts with the title track „Vale“. A gently string intro with a classical melody before the massive drones kicks in. „Wooden Island“ is driven by a hectical violin and a beautiful array of strings. These melodies are strong connected to the Chernobyl / Joker OST. „A Process in the Weather of the Heart“ sounds more conciliatory and less threatening. „Murmur“ on the other hand takes his time and works more like a connection to „Elowen“. The track breathes a similar tone like „Wooden Island“. A violine that sounds beautiful and threatening at the same time. Stunning! The following „Now“ acts like a prior notice. Like calm before the storm. „I Filled My Lungs with the Necessary Air, and Yelled“ is with no doubt the album highlight. It‘s a beast of a track and an emotional revelation!

„Sleeping Winds“ closes the record in a silent way. If feels like fog in the early morning, an intimate moment to be alone in the Vale. Some people connect intimacy with home. As written in the opening lines „Vale“ feels like an love letter to the homeland, with all of the memories from the past days of childhood. It‘s a emotional journey with classical and drone elements. For me „Vale“ is one of the most impressive records of the year. Highly recommended!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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Dominik Scheuring

I'm living and working in Hamburg, Germany. My interests are all about music, movies, and traveling. I also do some typical sport activities like fitness, running and swimming.

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