We were completely blown away to discover the phenomenally talented artist Matt Simon. His album ‘Space Alchemy’ is a masterclass in musicianship and flexibility. The album seamlessly darts between genres and is a thoroughly enjoyable and enthralling listen throughout.
First, we hear the song, ‘Evolution’. It features interesting and intricate playing by gorgeous electric guitars, drums, and a bass guitar. All of the parts are extremely detailed and, in places feel as though they are playing their own melodies and playing their own individual part. However, the instruments are always feeding off of one another, they work together well and the song feels like one seamless cohesive piece of music. This is all credit to the extremely clever writing and performance.
We adored the song ‘Lush’, it opens with luscious picked notes and has a laid-back feel to it. The bass and drums kick in which add further layers of texture and colour. The melody lines are heartfelt, emotional and very melodic. Simon’s guitar playing is extremely skillful and it reminds us of Walter Becker in places.
‘Midnight’ features an organ opening, followed by classical strings. There are chromatic and dissonant guitar notes to be enjoyed. The melodies are unusual and unpredictable and once the woodwind enter the piece feels as though all of the major players are in place. Magical.
‘Flux’ hears the spoken word at the beginning which carries on throughout and the rest of the instrumentation are built around it. This piece feels experimental and exciting. We loved the horns which come in as the song progresses. The spoken word element is not in English and we have no idea what is being said but this does not matter, it highlights that music is a universal language, it is the melodies which make the song relatable.
Upon reading ‘Space Alchemy’ was a guitar/instrumental album, we assumed it would be the run of the mill instrumental type of album we are used to hearing. We could not have been more wrong. This album is full of texture and colour which transcends it being an instrumental album. The melodies are so melodic they leave no space to be filled by vocals. The variety of the pieces keeps the listener’s interest extremely well and they all work well together as one cohesive piece of work. In one album you are taken on a journey over different continents and cultures while always feeling safe in Simon’s hands.
Matt Simon is quite simply a top quality musician. His composition and playing are both outstanding and we can not wait to hear what comes next from such a gifted musician.
‘Space Alchemy’ is available to listen to on iTunes, Amazon and all good listening platforms. If you want to hear a piece of work which is innovative and intoxicating, make sure you check out ‘Space Alchemy’ today.
Reviewed by FVReviews November 2018