- trumpet, flugelhorn, keyboards, guitar, electronics
Chris Montague - guitar
Jon Scott - drums, electronics
Emilia Mårtensson - vocals
Ed Begley - vocals
Date - 27th October 2016
Venue - Jazz Nursery, Waterloo, London, UKCurrent Album - We Drift Meridian (Whirlwind Recordings, 2016)
The minute islands and atolls amidst the vastness of our world’s oceans provide intriguing inspiration for Monocled Man
’s second album, We Drift Meridian
– a concept devised by trumpeter, multi-instrumentalist and composer Rory Simmons
. With established colleagues Chris Montague
(electric guitar) and Jon Scott
(drums/electronics), plus vocal contributions from Emilia Mårtensson
and Ed Begley
, Simmons layers-up haunting electronic and acoustic soundscapes which reflect the remoteness and sometimes curious histories and characters associated with these far-flung, isolated spaces.
Monocled Man’s cinematic beds of sound, carefully crafted with modular synths, sequencers and chopped audio, are all fashioned into an expansive framework which provides a springboard for individual artistry. Chris Montague’s characteristically oblique guitar style and Jon Scott’s hard-hitting, sparky drumming – both of which are unwaveringly inventive – join with Simmons’ plaintive trumpet in generating these appropriately drifting, searching panoramas.
'Tromelin' (a small, uninhabited sandbank island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, with a history of shipwrecks and abandoned slaves) is depicted by electronic call signs, dramatic percussion and forlorn trumpet riffs, whilst 'Deception Island' bubbles with electronic vigor and Ed Begley’s punky vocals.
One of the most eery island tales – interpreted in both Scott Moorman Adrift and Fiction Afloat – recalls when a 17ft whaler, with a crew of five, went missing off Hawaii. Several years later, a small, Hawaii-registered boat was discovered on atoll Taongi, 2,000 miles away… and a shallow grave alongide revealed a human jawbone which was matched to crew member Scott Moorman’s dental records. Such bizarre, aching hopelessness is represented by chiming repetition, seabird-calling trumpet and, later, Mårtensson’s and Begley’s intertwined vocals which speak of history becoming immortalised in stories.