Truly you know when someone is very submersed in to the music of The Pink Floyd. Like myself Scott Lawlor draws upon the sounds that the band pushed through his speakers when he first was introduced to them and it just didn’t stop there. Listening to The Pink Floyd just isn’t putting on a band’s album and letting it play but an actual journey that transports the body and mind to another place where you feel like Rod Serling is in the corner with his cigarette discussing your journey thus far in to the realm beyond sight and sound, except this isn’t The Twilight Zone (2112 fans have that covered) but rather this is sounds from the interpretive mind that is Scott Lawlor from his ascension from ground zero to the deepest depths of space to which I don’t think part of him ever came back from and that makes me smile as I too left part of myself out there too where sight and sound collide and separate form the conscious mind to become that of the sound of The Pink Floyd.
In his second album of inspirational transactions form listening to them he brings forth the album, Revelations from the Lightest Side of the Secret Moon. Seven tracks that continue to expand our minds and take us his journey that carries us further in to what he has seen and experienced and came back with to tell us on record.
Action Brings Good Fortune commences the album with what almost sounds like the start of Shine On You Crazy Diamond but Scott pulls to the back of the room to their first album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and reminisces on Chapter 24. A pastoral approach to this brings us in to the severed halls of time and space not being relevant to one another but in harmony through notes and tones that reflect off of imaginary waters that bounce across like birds wings flowing up and down gracefully as the synthscapes capture the moment with respect and solace. Traces of the song can be heard throughout which create a sense of joy and admiration for the band’s inception as they came through in 1967 with their debut Lp. This opening piece by Scott calls upon the great hall doors to be opened and welcoming us to usher ourselves in to discover the rest of what is in store here. With what sounds like how you would expect to hear the tolling of the iron bell in some green pasture and the church bells ringing to gather its flock you are seated now in perfect bliss.
Let’s Go into the Other Room and Make them Work, the jovial follow up song that keeps us in the Piper’s room and view we are blessed once again with the child like semblance of the song Bike with this carnivalesque delivery of sounds from Scott’s fingers. To what feels like the birth of a small robotic being that is just emerging form its wired embryonic stages and learning to speak its mechanical language we are only happy to help and hold out our hands to keep this tiny humanoid from falling over as it begins to smile at us as we smile back. A simple track that has you playing it once more for that smile to stay.
Amphibious Cosmic Birth still has us back in that ’67 thought corner but this time we shift the parameters and the dynamics to the spatial Interstellar Overdrive, a personal favourite of mine to play and would be an honour to do it justice live but to only find the rest of the band to go along with me on it but I digress. The familiar walk down notes are here to get us in the groove as Scott drops in the drums and bass lines along with perverse synthscapes over top that glide like butter to a hot knife spreading across the timbre with ease and sultriness. The song sucks in to a vortex of sound that either teleports you to somewhere unknown or brings you to the birth of your senses. You may experience one or the other or even both and the second time you listen to this just over 21min epic you will transform your mind in to a weapon of sound, an agent of tones and forever let yourself be lost in that vortex no matter which direction it takes you but you make no efforts to come back because the journey is always different. But we are brought back, we are made to come to and we are given a second chance at ground zero earth as Scott slowly calls upon the tonal winds of his synths to sway us down to the ground and deliver us to life anew.
A Thousand Miles of Moonlight rings out beautifully with an almost Echoes like ping in it the distance at first but the gentle piano passages segue us to the soundtrack from More in 1969 as Scott’s romantic approach to this song lulls us with a sweet refrain as synths accentuate the bar’s ending notes each time. Despite the movie being a horrible flop in North America, European audiences thought it was a brilliant piece of theatrical display of the drug culture of Ibiza and how tourists and locals collide with their exchange of drugs and sex the soundtrack was amazing and Scott gives us another incredible piece of music here that should be added to the original as an addendum because this song sings out like an epitaph and swansong to the end of the sixties and whether you were there or not you could not appreciate the struggles and turmoil that the sixties brought to the world, the people and the times if it wasn’t for the music and this piece encapsulates it perfectly as visions of; concerts, riots, clashes of classes, firsts and lasts run through your head. Absolutely radiant Scott, it makes me think of Moonlight Sonata meets sci-fi, love this piece.
Standing by the Nile screams insert David Gilmour at his most raucous vocal here as we are locked down for another round from inspirations from the More soundtrack as played out in a very Deutsch Rock Tangerine Dream massive sound feel to here. Scott taps in to his various influences and inspirations from other artists and perhaps a smidgen of Klaus Schulze meets Keith Emerson snuck in here because to me it has a very grand scale and epic overtone to it as we are whisked away again to cloudy mountains and rushing waters through the ethereal synthscapes that Scott has brought to the table. His approaches are grand yet subtle, peaceful yet powerful with the notes he plays to us using various synth pads and clean tones that are looming their fuzz and dirty under current tones that shift the timbre and the unease of the track that has you on the edge of your seat as you crest the top of the mountain to feel the wind rush through your hair and over your face as you dive downwards to the waters crashing up against the rocks below and are submerged in to their dreamy liquid body to be cast off to the farthest reaches form shore there is. Not being left out to sea we are scooped up by the great eagle and carried back to the top of the mountain and dropped off at the peak to stare out at the world and shout at the top of our lungs as it echoes to the distant lands far away.
Astronomic Dominic referring to The Pink Floyd’s first album and opening track, Astronomy Dominé that led us all down the rabbit hole and never to come back to reality. In a very Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy way this songs traps us in the opening and then spirals through a series of lights and sounds that have you thinking about the end of the world, Vogonian poetry and the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal because I love to let my mind wander when listening to Scott Lawlor and Allister Thompson because they choose their own taste and paths to which they create sound and imagery and I can’t help it that I drift off to Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy a lot of the time but their music and this song in particular has that sci-fi adaptation of what your mind would be like to see if you could pull it out of your head and just look at it for a while. Through synthscapes and wonderfully droned notes this track allows you to be at one with whatever it is you like and stay there for the duration of the song and as long as you loop it you can be there for a very long time. The intrinsic feel to this song is imperative to the album and placed in the perfect spot to continue your journey through your mind or through space to whatever degree you wish and the beauty of the song is that this piece is beauty in drone and stretching notes beyond what would be considered the “norm”.
The final song on the album and truly one of my all time favourite pieces by the Floyd is Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun that Scott has been inspired to write and create, Insulated Senses in a Vacuum. With album art brilliantly designed by Wings of an Angel (be on the future review of her music) the final song has you staring at the album art as if it were moving on you because that’s what this song inspires in your eyes. Movement of inanimate objects and the migration of these images in to your psyche. I’ve alwys been caught up in wrapped attention every time I heard The Floyd do Set the Controls… and I had to make it a part of my live set as it does circle the wagons around what I do musically and brings it all together for most people to understand but here we are given the fourth, fifth and sixth dimension of sound and space together in this masterfully crafted 16+ minute theatrical piece that had it been inserted in to the middle of a live version of Set the Controls there would be no way in hell that one could just get up an walk out of the theatre and clearly say “Hey, let’s go get some pie or something.” THAT would not happen at all. This piece triumphantly closes out the album in a haze of thick synthscapes and drones that swirl and crawl in to your mind like a worm that has embedded itself in you and will not let go. This composition is how I imagined it would be like in an anechoic chamber and you can hear blood vessels running through your body, the synapses in your central nervous system firing off the electrical switch as the receptor passes the neuron, your lungs inhaling and decompressing as your heartbeat becomes the loudest thing on earth to you as you lie there motionless and feel your body transcendentally evolve, move and elevate beyond your very comprehension of life and beyond its fragile limitations. truly a meditative piece of biblical proportions to me and when you listen to it you will agree that you are taken away to another place that has no address or final destination but brings you back to where you started.
Overall Scott Lawlor is a musician who plays how he feels and is inspired by both what he hears and what he feels coming through his cerebral cortex down to his fingers to create these wonderfully master crafted albums and along with artwork by Wings of an Angel it completes both the poetic and silent side of sound here. Through the few conversations I have had with Scott he has demonstrated both his love for music as well as his passion to keep a style of ambience about himself and his music making for always a pleasant discussion with him every time. I have taken the liberty of listening to other albums by him including the material he did with Allister Thompson who we have read about in the past with his Gateless Gate, Khan Tengri and Twilight Fields projects which are all audio palette pleasing.
Looking forward to hearing what Scott does next and where his music will take me. Enjoy
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For Allister Thompson: