CD Review

Blue Stone – “Breathe”

By Marcus Pan

Endlessly pretty, both with its illucid tribal, yet modern, rhythms and soprano vocal smoothies, Blue Stone’s Breathe creates within a listener a beautiful paradise leaving you far apart from the workaday world with no other companion but the wispy movements of keys and lightly tapping earthy beats. Created by the duo of Robert Smith (Bella Sonus) and Bill Walters, Blue Stone’s debut is as breathtaking as it is simple. No sound ever clashes, moves against or rasps against one another. Instead it’s ethereal and floaty and a welcome escape.

Soprano and classically trained vocals for Breathe are provided by Darcy. Piano, percussion and other elements are performed live to retain a humanistic and natural feel for the project, using elements similar to early jazz composition to create portions of the work. Darcy’s voice, though human, seem to come from far above, raining down on us like amulets of purest rain. The nature of the music keeps Breathe terrestrial, but its Darcy’s vocals that come from farther away and lead us, along with subtle bass and winds, into new and untouched territory.

Break of Dawn for example will take a filament of a piano and lace it against a windy electronic chord progression, spilling bass tone rhythms upwards from a grounded source. Falling uses a similar style, with bass rhythm mixes that build upwards and a return of the earlier tracks’ female vocals that lead you off into a new spiritual realm of existence. Large grasping bubbles of percussion roll through the trees as you walk.

The River opens dauntingly, roiling with not a small amount of deep black through the forest. But the low down bass march will help the piano melody build stairways and bridges of effervescent silver lace that will help bridge the dark and roiling waters of The River and, sometimes, problems of life. Only One is a highlight for its brightness and beautifully arranged mixtures of bass, rhythm and subtle electronic tones. Darcy’s vocals this time come from the sides rather than the heights – maybe we’ve reached the climactic center of our journey after crossing The River into a forest of emerald leaves and amethyst trees.

New Beginning closes Breathe with a pure instrumental, a slow moving piano dirge entombed in a static buzz of life and energy. Soon even the energy fades, as it must naturally, and the piano takes our hand and brings us home, pointing us the way back from the edge of Blue Stone’s hour+ long tryst in their aural forest before turning back and walking away.

I really enjoyed this and it’s so refreshingly simple, light and encompassing that spinning it has made me feel better, more alive and touched than music has in a while. The use of vocals as a musical counterpart is nothing new, but it’s built here from a purely “musical” rather than “vocal” standpoint so that it comes from a higher state than “only” a human voice; angelic even and protective as you step lightly through the breezy dream of Blue Stone’s handiwork.

Contact Information:
Neurodisc Records
Post: 3801 North University Dr., Suite 403, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 33351, USA
Phone: (954) 572-0289
Fax: (954) 572-2874

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