The wonder days of piano geniuses (may they rest in peace and not turn in dusty graves) who haunted the courts of the rich and super-swanky, have long since been supplanted by a million different genres of electronic music. With its army of synths, it is all the rage right now.
This bit of information could mislead you into being presumptuous and could even push you into making cocky suppositions about the piano being passé, but then you run into a guy who can play some mean tunes.
Ambient remixes with looped piano work are what we love, and Melbourne’s Luke Howard knows how to deliver.
Meet Luke Howard, the Melbourne based musician who specialises in this genre of down beat tempo that he tops with fancy piano grooves. His first solo album entitled Sun, Cloud was launched in 2013. And more recently (as in this year) he has released a remix album entitled Night, Cloud. There’s a number of collaborations on this album where Howard has roped in names like Kyson, Tim Shiel, Japanese Wallpaper and Paul Evans to join the fun.
August Night (Cloud 2014), which is a project Howard undertook with Kyson, starts with a heady mix of ambient percussion, a poignant piano solo and gossamer-like vocals that hover gently over the length of the track, just like those fragile lines of spider silk that you can find draped over trees, if you are brave enough to get up at dawn.
And if songs are to be likened to things, then August would be a boat… not a motor boat, mind you, but one of those quintessential gondolas. Within this similie, the producers are like… you’ll never guess this one: the oarsmen. And boy, are they skilled. The track is a frictionless ride over a glassy surface.
If you want a taste of velvety music cake then you can find Howard playing alongside Douglas Dare, Benjamin Clementine and Asgeir at Brighton St Mary’s at The Great Escape Festival which falls on May 8th. Happy Autumn.
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