Whether you know Max Santilli through Ken Oath duo Angophora, previous releases ‘Surface’ and ‘In Circles’, or this is your first time making his acquaintance, you’ll agree he’s right at home on the Growing Bin. The multi-instrumentalist crafts exquisite acoustic music in tune with the finer moments of Windham Hill and ECM; a perfect fusion of talent, balance and the emotion shared by each release on the Hamburg label.
As befits its inspiration ‘Tidal’ is an organic affair, related through bright acoustic guitar, hazy chimes and hand played percussion. Where the Australian draws you in with hypnotic repetition, the subtlety, warmth and tonal variation serve as a welcome reminder we’re living off grid.
Though expert fretwork often takes centre stage, especially on the delicate B1 ‘Warm You Give’, it’s the blend of kalimba, woodblock, hand drums and shaker which truly transport the listener through open waters; a rhythmic breeze carrying us through the maritime drones and bowed squall. At times the salt air is spiced with cardamom and cloves (‘Sea’) or lemongrass and galangal (‘Valleys’), as we skirt the Indian Ocean or the Java Sea. ‘Lapse’ provides subtle hints of fourth world jazz as mallets take the lead, leaving the guitar to provide its own shimmering texture.
Clear your mind, clear your schedule and make some time for ‘Tidal’, an opportunity to breathe in time with the planet.