Many, many years ago I bought the first album by Canadian guitarist and atmospherics maestro, Michael Brook. I’ll never forget the rather dismissive description of him as “the electrician” by a friend of mine, when I dragged him along to see Brook supporting a Harold Budd concert in London sometime last century.
The comment was perhaps partially deserved, as Brook’s music did come across as a little synthetic and antiseptic in live performance. But the same thing could not be said of the first solo, non soundtrack releases he has released in over 10 years, RockPaperScissors (2006) and its reworked version with producer / remixer James Hood, Bellcurve (2007). Both are full of beautiful, captivating and incredibly esoteric atmospheres, bringing together Brook with collaborators such as Lisa Germano (on the gorgeous “Want”), Paul Buchanan (of The Blue Nile), and a Bugarian choir and orchestra, not to mention integrating a fantastic reading of Dylan Thomas by Richard Burton.
I’m really not sure which version I prefer, but both are currently on auto-rotation and very highly recommended.
A full collaboration between Michael Brook, James Hood and Lisa Germano would be heaven…