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AAA Music | 2 July 2022

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Stuart McCallum – Distilled

| On 02, Oct 2011

This is the third album release by Stuart McCallum who is perhaps best known for his work as part of Cinematic Orchestra. This record is a stunning, self assured work that showcases someone who has mastered their trade and is completely comfortable with his style. Over 10 songs McCallum creates an atmospheric, at times eerie sound- with elements of jazz, electronic and alternative.

The songs on this album from the haunting “Inflight” to title track “Distilled” are vast, elegant and complex in their simplicity. The tunes drift from minimalist productions to layered, rich and textured sounds with the subtle use of string and woodwind sections throughout. “Lament for Levenshume” is a highlight. An eerie sort of a song coming in at 6.47 minutes long but at no point does it feel like it is dragging.

McCallums guitar playing is the central point of the music- the “vocalist” of this album if you will, and aside from some jazz style improvisations he generally sticks to the main melodies, which he plays with fluidity and grace. It is no surprise to learn that McCallum is an accomplished musician with a background in many different genres of music. This eclectic musical background contributes to the stellar musicianship that is heard on “Distilled”- a wonderfully produced album that is sure to impress previous fans of McCallums work and any listeners of this genre.

Author: Orna Lyons