Review: Absent Without Leave – Postcards From Nowhere

Absent Without Leave is the musical alias for George Mastrokostas from Greece. From his Athens-based home studio comes ‘Postcards From Nowhere’; an entirely instrumental work which inhabits the worlds of ambient and post-rock. It’s also the fourth CD released as part of Distant Noise Records’ monthly series and it exudes the kind of warmth and melancholy that have become the stock-in-trade for the likes of Mogwai and Yellow6 in recent past.

Absent Without Leave CD Cover

This is music which always seem accompanied by a sense of loss. The sad, doleful Mogwai-like dynamics of ‘Before The First Rain’ are an early indication for what is to come. It’s one of the sparest instrumentals and although the similarly weather-themed ‘End Of July’ embraces a fuller sound, it’s certainly no less melancholic. Meanwhile, could the title to ’25 Years’ be a clue to possible influences such as Durutti Column and The Lotus Eaters? Because the chiming guitars featured here suggest so.

Listeners will find it of no surprise that Mastrokostas has worked with Yellow6’s Jon Attwood in the past but the former’s shorter compositions mean that they’re the perfect material for those who only have forty minutes to stare longingly out of the window. Yet although I can go on listing similar artists here, ‘Postcards From Nowhere’ is a record which stands up in its own right; produced by a young talent who has the all-important gift of conveying emotion through his wordless recordings.

Web Sites:
Absent Without Leave MySpace
Distant Noise Records Label and Shop Site

Further Listening:
Yellow6, Mogwai, Labradford


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