on 27 May 2011
I first heard the album Waves shortly after it appeared in 1975. Instrumental albums were not that common or popular at the time (at least in my circles) but its musicality and quintessential laid-backness grows on you. Many times over the subsequent years I turned to my vinyl version of this to bring a moment of calm. The cover art on the 12 inch album was also entrancing although this is captured less well by the CD version. The piece begins with the gentle building of the wave (which if played loud enough seriously vibrates a few speakers) but then breaks down into a succession of sometimes funky, sometimes jazzy but always relaxing movements. Having just bought the CD and listened to the album again after many years of not having a deck, I realise that this music was way ahead of its time. It was ambient before Eno's ambient got going and got taken seriously (not counting the frippery of No Pussyfooting and Evening Star) and it was jazz inspired, laid back chill-out music before St Germain and all the rest. It is played predominantly on conventional instruments rather than on electronic keyboards. It stands the test of time well.