Review: Gnac – The Arrival Of The Fog

Although normally the instrumental albums I have reviewed fall in to either the electronica or post-rock camps, I always have time for Mark Tranmer’s forays with Gnac; an artist who seems out of time in many respects with his evocation of late 1950-early 1960s kitchen sink drama, both with The Montgolfier Brothers and with his solo work. Tranmer favours analogue instruments; making the kind of soundtracks normally associated with Poirot murder mysteries. It may sound quite boring on paper but usually there’s as much intrigue and mystery here as a dozen Agatha Christie novels.

Gnac Album Cover

With ‘The Arrival Of The Fog’, Tranmer is in largely sombre form. It begins sedately with the title track; a fittingly lonely piano signalling the bleak winter months. In contrast, ‘Japanese Fiction’ – a faster track which seems a little out of place in this company – makes me think of a chaotic day in a newspaper office. However, ‘Horizontal Happiness’ is Tranmer at his best; using unusual instruments to make beautifully unique melodies, ‘What To Make Of Jagged Graphs’ is another grand affair whilst the finale ‘Cliques And Clusters’ is pastoral and lovely. The only problem is that too many of the tracks here don’t veer away much from mildly diverting territory. In fact, the most poignant moment of all is a bonus track tacked right on the end. Thanks to a minimalist pulse and an understated, repeated melody line, ‘Winter Blanket’ is possibly Tranmer’s most haunting offering yet. So although this is by no means the best Gnac album, its sporadic highlights should be enough to tempt fans of his previous work.

Web Sites:

Mark Tranmer’s Official Site
Mark Tranmer’s MySpace
LTM Label Site

Also Reviewed:

Gnac – Sevens
Gnac – Biscuit Barrel Fashion
Gnac – Twelve Sidelong Glances
The Montgolfier Brothers – Seventeen Stars
The Montgolfier Brothers – The World Is Flat
The Montgolfier Brothers – All My Bad Thoughts


1 Response to “Review: Gnac – The Arrival Of The Fog”

  1. 1 gijsen June 14, 2009 at 5:12 pm


    I don’t write in english language but I hope…

    J’ai découvert votre musique récemment. Je l’adore, même à 62 ans…Mais le climat de la Belgique est si proche du vôtre…

    Est-ce un hasard, ou la jacquette de votre Album (superbe) gnAc a été inspirée par l’ affiche gaRage de Man Ray cfr Ph. Souppault…

    Je suis belge, aime le surréalismae et son histoire…

    Merci de me répondre…

    Avez-vous un fan club ? J’aimerais le faire partager à mes amis, enfants, petits-enfants et proches…

    A bientôt, et encore de belles créations…

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