Boomkat Product Review:
Exceptionally bliss-smudged tape music by one of the UK’s most intriguing, quiet operators, who is notably responsible for introducing us to Svitlana Nianio & Oleksandr Yurchenko via his Skire label - RIYL Andrew Chalk, Timo Van Luijk, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, NWAQ/154, Craig Tattersall
The waterlogged, atmospheric meditations of ’Nightshade’ mark a typically subtle yet vital new strain of work for Tom James Scott, ventured by his collaborator Luke Younger’s label, Alter. Whether you’re familiar with his solo work, or via communions with Elodie’s Andrew Chalk & Timo Van Luijk, or credits on records by Lee Gamble, Sean McCann, or his bands Liberez and Charcoal Owls - it’s easy to identity a gentility of spirit and tonal nuance to Tom’s music that distinguishes it from the milieu.
Following his Skire label’s reissues of sublime Ukrainian folk works by Svitlana Nianio & Oleksandr Yurchenko in recent years, Tom continues an unusually prolific 2023 - which has already seen him issue a Svitlana Nianio collaboration ‘Eye of the Sea’, and solo LP ‘The Last Swarm of Summer’ - with this lowkey radical reset of his sound into gauziest ambient classical, saturating gorgeous lines of extended melodic thought and shimmering loops with thick layers of ferric tog to a heart-in-mouth appeal.
This is one to drink in deeply and on your tod. In three acousmatic parts, unidentifiable instrumentation swirls and sways on the cusp of nervous and soothing, recalling the coruscating textures of Jefre Cantu-Ledesma as much as the emotional tenor of NWAQ/Ross 154’s lushest zoners. ‘Echo on Water’ serves 14 minutes of immanent calm that could happily go one for twice as long and not lose our interest, whilst ‘Blue Mist’ moves deeper into a sort of beautiful oblivion with vaporised harmonies of a claggy nature that perhaps owe to his new locale on the english North West coast, and the ‘Wasting Stars’ feels as though we’ve transitioned from sun-dazed to crepuscular with wilting piano notes just-about detectable under its ferric blanket of hiss and decay.