In Transit (Soft)
Taking a lazy approach to Kevin Purdy’s new album you could say that with a title like In Transit, a selection of essentially instrumental songs, and an ambience usually more on the contemplative, or maybe ruminative, side than anything propulsive, this album could well be dropped in a kind of Eno-esque Music For Airports/On Land category.
The thing is it wouldn’t be right but it wouldn’t be wholly wrong either. Most of the time In Transit works in that space between foreground and background that characterises a lot of the artists on the ECM label, or some of the best moments of the Necks.
You can fall back and let music pass you by, especially in the self-explanatory opening track Set Adrift (which is just waiting for an invitation on to a surf movie soundtrack), and across parts of the five sections of The Five Dimensional Waltz. And certainly, set at medium volume the whole album can merge with the night quite attractively.
But when the drums (played, as most instruments here are, by Purdy) ratchet up the drive in the second half of Tale Of The Evolutionary Revolutionary, or the trumpet, by Simon Ferenci, in The View, crosses over the glitchy sub-electronics like an all-terrain vehicle undeterred by gulch or hill, there’s a ruggedness apparent.
Not that ruggedness is needed to move from ambience to prominence. When Jim Denley’s saxophone rises and falls across the second track, Garden Of Delight, or the guitar, with a nod to David Gilmour, sends out exploratory lines during the final stages of The Five Dimensional Waltz, there’s an elegant movement.
Purdy’s hardly new to this game and that experience is so obvious across the undulating shapes and attractive contours of In Transit.
Compositionally, he is a step above a lot of the toked-up/turned down instrumentalist albums. But as usual, there’s also an adventurous spirit in these songs that won’t settle for merely pleasant. He, unlike some of us, isn’t up for the lazy option.
SPOTIFY: LISTEN TO PURDY – IN TRANSIT HERE
APPLE MUSIC: LISTEN TO PURDY – IN TRANSIT HERE