Tone Color is the work of Manchester’s Andy Lomas and for his first album he has crafted two years’ worth of environmental sounds, ambient and experimental music into ten mesmeric instrumentals. ‘The Last Day’ is a cosmopolitan work too with many tracks inspired by visits to European cities.
For the opener, ‘Alex’, blurred layers of sound effects mix in with all kinds of chatter and field recordings of machinery, suggesting busy times at a railway station. Yet from this point onwards, the sounds are less frenetic and complex and hypnotic drones become the most prominent factor. A rather more coherent ‘Vorantreiben’ still makes use of hazy electronica but its nocturnal melody and use of static suggests a tale of loneliness whilst the contrasting drones of ‘Ebowed an’ Clear’ and ‘Deuxième étage’ (the former gentle, the latter throbbing through the speakers) provide a comforting but intelligent experience. In an all too accurate echo of its title, ‘An English Summer’ is resplendent with bird song and, of course, rain but the key element is a serene wash of melody.
‘The Last Day’ won’t set the world alight and it never tries to. This is electronic music which is evocative and warm; revelling in its unhurried tunefulness.