Boomkat Product Review:
Having spent last year recording collaborations with Maher Shalal Hash Baz plus Barbara Morgenstern, Stefan Schneider and Annie Whitehead, Bill Wells kicks off his 2010 working alongside Swedish minimalist post-rockers Tape. Wells always seems able to make the most of his joint projects, and Fugue doesn't buck the trend. Here the Scottish composer seems to slot alongside the Berthling brothers and co. with the utmost synergy, playing the piano, Rhodes and melodica parts as well as co-writing the music. Gently circulating melodies open up through the beginnings of 'Fugue 1', establishing a tentative and ambiguous tone that builds slowly towards some colourful organ chords at its peak. The recording is handled with Tape's customary warmth and precision and all the various instruments sound perfectly nestled in their place. On 'Fugue 2' yet more horizontal vibes abound, and what seems like a familiar Tape hallmark - the melodica lead - takes centre-stage, yet here it's played by Wells, only underlining how chameleonic he can be as a collaborator. 'Fugue 3' is chillaxed to the max, with Wells' piano solo encroaching on jazzy easy listening but only in the same way that an Air record might. Finally, 'Fugue 4' is a little more forthcoming, beginning with some great electronic surges that quickly pave the way for some more structured fare with Johan Berthling's guitar arpeggios, which find a florid counterpart in Wells' keystrokes. Lovely stuff indeed.