After last year's The Vessel anda string of subsequent gigs,it seemed that Dan Berridge's Broadway Project was set to become a 'proper' band with 'proper' songs. Although Berridge's ear for sumptuous, widescreen atmospherics still remainedcentral to proceedings,it's a bit of a relief to find that his latest effort has ditched the slightly overwrought vocalisms of The Vessel. In Finite is more of are turn to the darkly beautiful sample driven soundscaping that characterised his debut Compassion.
Berridge has enlisted the help of jazzersRiaan Vosloo (double bass) and pianist Matt Bourne, to add a bit of real time muscle.In Berridge's rich, mysterious soundworld it's hard to tell who's doing what; kotos, horns, flutes,harps, strings, Gregorian chant and distressed electronics slip in and out of focus over slo-mo funk drums in a dreamlike haze. Still, Vosloo's resonant growls and Bourne's delicately ambiguous piano chords shine through when they appear.
While Broadway Project records have never been happy clappy affairs, In Finite seems suffused with a quiet, implacabledread rather than the world-weary melancholy of Compassion or the personal psychodramas of The Vessel.Whatever, Berridge's mastery of the studio remains intact.The sources for his grainyassemblages are maybe less obvious this time round (I only spotted one recognisable sample), but they're put together with casual brilliance.
Whatever his methods, Berridge seems able to breathe life into sampled material in the way that few others can. He's a supreme collagist,teasing newemotionsfrom old, forgotten sounds, imagining a music which could never exist in real time but somehow does.But while countless others out there are doing the same kind of thing, Berridge's music still carries that ability to make you feel something. And that's worth seeking out. --Peter Marsh
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