Grain Vinyl is the new single from sometime Brian Eno and Jon Hopkins collaborator and Krononaut man Leo Abrahams, and we’re absolutely delighted to be able to premiere it right here on Backseat Mafia this morning. It’s taken from his forthcoming album, Scene Memory II, and it’s out December 3rd via figureight records.
It’s the follow up to 2006’s Scene Memory I and slots into this sort of anti-virtuosic feeling. Of the record as a whole, Leo says “The record grew out of an Ableton Live Set that I built for a solo tour of Siberia in 2019,” Leo writes. “I wanted to create different sonic environments in which to improvise, generating a wide variety of sounds from a single guitar source while avoiding any looping or sequencing. I found the results were most inspiring when the patches had the ability to surprise me. I was seeking ambiguity and liminality in all areas: sound, genre and mood. A live concert was sometimes a challenging environment to explore these things, and the crowd was split every night; reactions ranged from rapt attentiveness from physics students, to outright anger from people who had been expecting ‘real’ guitar solos. All the pieces on the record have their seeds in that tour, but were improvised without an audience in my London studio.”
Grain Vinyl is this beautifully restrained piece of guitar work, sitting somewhere in this ambiguous neo-classical / jazz world, where things overlap and bleed into eachother as the repetitive patterns shift and blend and the echoes of the melodic fragments make up this rather lovely whole. It seems to have this almost playful sense of things, despite the melodies being seemingly soaked in that little bit of melancholy.
Whatever it is though, it is beautiful. Check it out, here