If you wanted, or needed, to travel a vast distance - perhaps between continents, or further, between planets - then Cam Butler's new album Self Portrait would not only be your soundtrack, but your companion. It's a textured roadmap, rich and densely coloured, a hand-painted manuscript to set a course by in the evenings of solitude and the days of searching.
Self Portrait builds on Cam's earlier work, from Silver Ray to The Shadows of Love, riding deep into a guitar-based world of soaring emotional landscapes. Peaks of shimmering sound emerge from layered drifts of electronic looped backings, as if the guitar was floating on a cushion of chords. His unique style carries you effortlessly through the clouds, surrounded and encased by soulful and aching symphonies.
From the opening sway of Something's Wrong to the listless writhing of the late Roland S Howard's The Golden Age of Bloodshed and on through the haunting chambers of Space, Cam's guitar is a voice of its own, calling and guiding, lilting and sharp by equal measures. He finishes with an astonishingly savvy rendition of Duke Ellington's In A Sentimental Mood, capturing the contrapuntal shifts that give the song its aching sense of longing.
If you need a soundtrack for a flight from the everyday, or for an interstellar expedition beyond Jupiter, Self Portrait will be a compelling co-pilot.
released 29 April 2014
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