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Deep Blue is another fruitful collaboration for talented tunesmith Mark Peters, known best for his work with the Engineers. Mark has migrated somewhat from shoegaze to dreamier electronic music, but the beauty of his older work remains. The music is lush and beautiful, perfect for daydreaming on warm summer days. I was not previously familiar with composer/producer Elliot Ireland’s work, but based on what I hear on Deep Blue, I’ll be checking more of his work out. The album was recorded in London and York, both remotely and collaboratively and also features performances from seasoned musicians such as pianist Dan Hewson and multi-instrumentalist Shawn Lee. “Seven Year Monday” is the album opener, and it’s a bit reminiscent of Mark’s recent work with Ulrich Schnauss. It has a soft, relaxing texture and sets the tone for the entire album. “Mojave Eagle” is all about hushed tones and quiet vibes, and “Interstate 80 West” places the listener in a car, preferably on a perfect day with cool breezes blowing through your hair. “Deep Blue” is more introspective, and I’m not sure who the vocalist is here, but the vocal fits the loose, flowing feel of this tune.
The song “Oar” stands above some of the other songs, by virtue of being different both in scope and execution. Shawn Lee contributes drums on this tune, and there is some lovely piano playing and tasteful guitar. Its rather drawn out song structure reminds me a tad of late period Talk Talk and even has a bit of jazz inflection. “When You Sleep” is funkier and attains some of the cool feel of Roxy Music. “Mountains of Silver” is an acoustic instrumental with lightly played drums and it almost sounds like the creaking of a boat in the background. “The Aching Light” is slightly psychedelic, and it’s a lovely piece with nice percussion. “Scarlet Sunset” continues in this vein, and is even trippier with icy piano! “Cloud Surfing” and “Secret Solstice” sneak by swiftly, leaving warmth and peace in their wake. And finally, “When You Dream” is there to close out the daydream, containing one of Mark’s finer vocals on this release. It lingers in your mind quite a long time after it fades away. In summary, this is a lovely piece of work from Mark and Elliot, one that will please dream pop fans and those who enjoy ambient and pastoral electronica.
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