Sometimes, side projects are the most fun: a playful blend of improvised piano lines and soundtrack music.
By day, Noh1 (a.k.a. George Taylor) earns his crust from film and TV soundtracks. While filming BBC2's Arena documentary about John Lennon -Imagine, Imagine - the director Frederick Baker sought an additional edge by pairing the experienced composer Taylor with a 'wild card' improvisor, one H-J Roedelius. Such was the personal and musical chemistry that emerged, that Roedelius made a return visit to join Taylor at a Shropshire barn for a week's recordings, this time without the commercial constraints of a brief to fulfil. Roedelius seems particularly energised with his usually languid piano lines having an added playful edge that inspires Taylor and cohort Jez Coad to weave their guitars and synthesisers around them. An added bonus is Dorit Chrysler on Theremin (the grandaddy of electronic instruments making it's first appearance on any HJR album) plus the rare appearance of an actual live drum kit, courtesy of Martyn Barker. As the track titles indicate - "A Short Walk in the Hills", "Passing Cars", "Flying Saucer" - this is an appealing blend of urban, pastoral and cosmic moods in ever changing permutations, shifting impishly between the rhythmic to melodic to free form, while neatly side-stepping anything resembling a tired cliche. While Fibre carries itself lightly, thanks to Taylor's expert and uncluttered post-production work, there's a supple focus on simple-yet-complex forms with plenty of twists and turns and rewarding detail.