Need More Sources - Shed
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Need More Sources

Need More Sources is the performing name for the UK-based artist Chris Stewart, a somewhat unknown fellow who was signed to the Moteer label based only on the strength of the music he sent them. As it turns out, the ten track release is easily one of the best things I've heard on the young label, as it combines stringed instruments, piano, guitar, and occasional percussion into delightful little bedroom symphonies that play out sort of like a cross between Max Richter and Helios.

The titles on Shed are simple, and pretty much leave all explanation to the understated songs themselves, which slightly invoke each given title in simple and subtle ways. "Morning" opens the album with see-sawing strings that weave over the top of murky filtered tones and deeper swirls that sound like something culled from a Philip Jeck release. Eventually, the clouds part as brighter tones make their way to the front of the mix. One would be hard pressed to connect "Storm" with any sort of actual musical storm, but as one of the louder songs on the release it is a slight sort of peak. On it, multiple layers of bowed strings fill in the space around a simple bass line and some live drums while plucked notes dance melodically and take the edge off.

Other highlights on the release include the twinkling piano melodies and almost insect-like programming on "Snow," which in turn builds to a more string-drenched section with deep bass hits. At just over six minutes, "Spring" might be one of the most successful tracks on the entire release, as it builds with soft quivers of strings and warm piano before multiple string parts duel with one another and a slew of percussion (including some well-done handclaps) slides in to push things forward.

With ten songs running about fifty-five minutes, Shed probably could have used a touch of slimming-down in places, but this is one of those nice little instrumental releases from a fairly unknown artist (like Halfset's Dramanalog or Gojogo's All Is Fair) that's perfect for playing in the background while cleaning the house on a nice weekend day or even reading. It's nothing that knocks you over the head, but it's well-constructed and sublime in places, and that's really all you need sometimes...

rating: 7.510
Aaron Coleman 2007-07-19 21:16:09