Malcolm Fisher made something of a name for himself when he formed The French Impressionists, a jazz-influenced pop collective, in the early 1980s. Yet despite the inevitable critical acclaim, the “Next Big (Scottish) Thing” tag failed to deliver equivalent commercial success. Pleasingly, Fisher has stayed active in music with new French Impressionists albums and his solo work. His current project consists of a quartet of albums based on the seasons and ‘Loom’ is the ‘Winter Music’ release.
‘Loom’ itself is split in to four named sections; covering thirty six tracks in less than an hour and – as with all Fisher’s work – the emphasis is placed as much on melody as it is on mood. The first section, ‘Winter Prism’, is a varied affair that is given colour by some gorgeous pastoral sections and the occasional moment of jollity. The second section (‘Winter Mountain’), however, is consistently downbeat and beautifully so as one elegantly constructed piano piece segues in to another. Then the final two shorter sections indicate brighter moods and the arrival of spring.
Interestingly, one of Fisher’s aims of his music is to arrest the stress of contemporary life and it is difficult not to feel a sense of calmness whilst indulging in these luxuriant tunes. Moreover, it is not essential to listen to the album during Winter either, since these lovely minimalist compostions possess a timeless quality that can be appreciated all year round.
The French Impressionists, Erik Satie