Thomas Simon – Sound & Vision
One listen to Thomas Simon's extraordinary latest album – 'Vortex' – and it should be clear that this is the sound of a man who is as at home behind a camera as he is in the recording studio.
'Vortex' is as much soundscape or musical film as it is an album. It is no surprise that Simon lists the great sound sculptor Brian Eno as a major influence on his own work. But as with most visionaries, Simon's musical voice is entirely unique.
There are echoes of Pink Floyd or the dramatic scores of Ennio Morricone in Simon's music. It is music that demands the listener's attention from the very first bars.
Simon describes his songs as “extended jams” but there is a precision and structure to the songs that means these are not meandering explorations as much as finely layered works of art.
A gifted guitarist and composer, Simon made his name playing with the critically acclaimed, internationally touring artists Musiciens Sans Frontieres and Love Alien. After going solo and landing film soundtrack work, he released a few ethereal records, the last one was 'Monaco'. But it is with this new album that Simon's musical vision rises to the next dimension.
Having grown up studying classical violin as a child, Simon has since incorporated elements of rock'n'roll and psychedelia into his repertoire, evoking at times Bauhaus, the Church, My Bloody Valentine and Philip Glass. As a multi-instrumentalist with his own recording studio, he is also in control of his own sound in a way that would be the envy of many more established artists.
From the otherworldly beauty of opening song, Haze, through to the dark, hopeful menace of closer Condor Jam (watch the award winning music video of Condor Jam, filmed in the Brazilian Amazon, on Vimeo), via the trip-hop grooves of Altered Planet and the experimental rainforest recordings in Dub The Toad, there is not a track on Vortex that disappoints.
In fact, it is a rare album that grows in quality with every listen. It is an album for true music-lovers to cherish again and again. And it could be just the start of the wonderful musical expedition that Thomas Simon wants to take you on.
Vortex is available now on CD Baby and other online outlets.