David Newlyn impressed with the nostalgic sounds of ‘Ancient Lights’; a kind of electronica-based homage to life in a Northern English town. It shouldn’t have worked but it largely did thanks to Newlyn’s ability to evoke images from the past using modern technology.
All the promises of the album title are on display for the opening track ‘Doubt’. Here, sombre piano keys fall like rain drops, capturing the melancholia perfectly. ‘Erasing The Past’ is darker and more menacing as static and found sounds accompany the stentorian keyboards. A pattern develops where spare piano pieces merge with multi-layered experiments. Of the latter, the fifteen minute of ‘Hospitals In Winter’ shares a commonality with the likes of The Green Kingdom and Planivaar, as various types of insect, bird and plant life appear to be making themselves heard.
Overall, Newlyn has come a long way since ‘Ancient Lights’. Yet even if his music is now geared towards modern classical rather than electronica, his gift for connecting to human emotions remains constant.
Planivaar, The Green Kingdom, Library Tapes