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Album review

Tom James Parminter 

Imperfect Symmetry

added: 1 Jul 2014 // release date: 9 Jun 2014 // label: Zube
reviewer: Andy Snipper

Tom James Parminter - Imperfect Symmetry - Printable version
So much music is one dimensional and aimed at a certain section of the listening public – often programmed to hit a particular market and about as soulful as a dead guppy. Call it the Simon Cowell method if you wish.

Then there are mavericks and individuals who are writing and playing the music that is in their heads and hearts, irrespective of an audience demographic and filled with soul no matter what genre they find themselves in. It is music that grabs your attention, takes your mind to places it wasn’t planning and give you something new every time you dip in to it. It isn’t a method.

So to Tom James Parminter and his second album. His first album was loaded with samples and programming and while it was intellectually clever it lost some of the soul that seems to reside in his music. This time around he has ditched a lot of the unnecessary gubbins and made an album that strikes you in a minimalistic, stark and almost atrophied manner.

There is no shortage of electronic instrumentation and he uses it to create huge soundscapes that seem to take you into the stratosphere and hold you there with droning synths and thudding bass lines but somehow it is also uplifting and astoundingly lovely. Parminter’s piano playing is clean, using repetitive ‘riffs’ as a base of the electronics above and around it in a similar way to Terry Riley.

Standout track is probably ‘Cerulean’ which is achingly beautiful and almost painfully intense.

You can clearly hear the influence of Tangerine Dream and Phillip Glass as well as modern bands such as Panic Room but he has created something that is as individual as any of those and has a personal signature all over it. Every number has a coherent individual structure but they go together to make an album of moods and places – a clear case of the sum being greater than the individual parts.


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5 stars

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