May 162006


Tim Nelson — Mesh

Some think of Tim Nelson as a guitarist, others might say a player of all things with strings.

But i hold a different picture of Nelson’s main axe: it is a cauldron.

Whether in live performance or on the studio floor, he stirs home-grown sound sources into boiling concoctions not entirely of this earth. Dare i say “wizard-like”, he wields heat, he moves cold with electronic spells, secret spells, which, in turn, enhance and give lift to every other sound or vision over which these secrets are cast.

Such potions would appear not at all out of place as ingredients to the film scores of Mark Isham, Philip Glass, Cliff Martinez, Lisa Gerrard, and Peter Gabriel. To the admiration of the Red Sun Soundroom crew, Tim Nelson is a texturalist first: the music he makes is tactile, felt in the fingertips.

Mesh, his recent solo release, brings together on one disc at last several pieces created solely at the hand of the mad-botanist-become-organic-chemist-of-the-sonic-laboratory. He plays beautifully. An assortment of instruments are on the palette: acoustic guitars, cello, various flutes from around the globe, percussion instruments of equally diverse origin.

He also plays his playing beautifully—treatments bring these instruments to a new place within the compositions on Mesh, to a place hardly imaginable until heard, disbelieved, then heard again.

I enjoy Tim Nelson’s recorded efforts as a music-lover second. As a composer, creative recordist, and thief, i afford myself a separate, primary motive for listening: inspiration.

When (not if!) you buy this disc, buy a second copy for a friend. I’m telling you they will likely procure two more copies to pass along, and they’ll thank you for it.

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May 152006



Brian Eno turns 58 today

Happy Birthday to a great thinker, informed aesthete, artful cheat, mentor to millions.

Damn fine job with Paul Simon on Surprise, too. Cheers!

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