Blue Fields Swimming in the Shadows
Published Feb 17, 2017While this may be Canadian ex-pat Mike Shannon's second album with Takeshi Nishimoto as the more experimentally driven Blue Fields, he's probably still best known for his connection to Montréal's burgeoning scene in the early 2000s, and his later output once he ventured over to Europe through his well respected Cynosure label. Nishimoto is an accomplished musician in his own right, who has crossed over from his classically trained roots to collaborate with guys like Shannon and John Tejada.
Drawing elements from the jazz, dub and electronic world to anchor its sound, Blue Fields lean heavily on a dubby wash on the mix that gives the tracks depth and texture, an almost underwater quality. Swimming in the Shadows' muted melodies, restrained percussion, slow-burning vocals and subtle guitars work together well at times, drawing you into its moody vibe, especially on cuts like "On the Stairs" and "I Felt That It Was True," featuring Danuel Tate.
Those moments come too infrequently, though, with Shannon and Nishimoto taking a safe approach on the album that doesn't feel like it quite connects on the deeper level that the duo had hoped to. (Haunt)