Szun Waves - Earth Patterns (The Leaf Label)

Szun Waves – Earth Patterns (The Leaf Label)

Returning with their new downtempo and sonically moving EP, Earth Patterns is Szun Waves. The trio consisting of producer Luke Abbott, saxophonist Jack Wyllie and drummer Laurence Pike have been working on their music religiously for the two years following their European tour, locking themselves away in the studio for three days of improvisation which has resulted with inspiration for their third studio album in five years. Though what’s impressive about this album is Szun Waves may not have been collectively in the same country – with Laurence based in Australia and Luke and Jack grounded in different parts of the UK. Perhaps, this unexpected reassessment of the band’s creativity demonstrates their drive, and further explains why this album is so elusive and ambitious.

Their unique and emphatic sound comes from their own personal music journeys, with each releasing their own solo music alongside this project. Luke Abbott’s album Translate released in 2020 is an 11 track soundscape from another planet, and he’s also remixed big artists’ names such as John Hopkins, Todd Terje and Nils Frahm. Jack Wyllie is a member of Portico Quartet, Forgiveness and Paradise Cinema, and Laurence Pike has just released his new collaborative album Isola. Szun Waves is a trio that clearly works together like butter and bread, with a perfect warming sound of synths, light drums and percussions and wind instruments throughout Earth Patterns.  

Their creative process of improvisation and spontaneity is what makes this album for me. Upon first listen, the sounds throughout create a nostalgic yet warming headspace through its sounds, structure and character. On ‘Exploding Upwards’, you can hear the luscious Prophet synth built alongside arpeggiated synths and wind instruments – perfectly setting the tone for the rest of the album as something to buckle up for. The improvisation through this album stretches far and wide in regards to the sound, and demonstrates the trio’s creative perspectives and ability. With ‘Garden’  and ‘Atomkerne’ boasting sub-frequency baselines adding a warming edge, and ‘Be A Pattern For The World’ developing into a roaring sound of wind instruments, loud ride cymbals, wind instruments and roaring synths seasoned with reverbs. 

Their break apart from each other meant the trio could focus on other matters, such as the artwork of their new album. It allowed them to identify the perfect collaborator, Dan Harwood, who worked on Max Cooper’s acclaimed live AV performances to create visual landscapes. He created the music video for ‘New Universe’, which is a brilliant dissertation of what Szun Waves really are – a marrying of the organic and strange. 

Speaking on the meaning behind Earth Patterns Abbot writes, “I think the record we’ve ended up with is an emotional outpouring. There’s a fluidity to it that feels like we tapped into something quite raw. The last record felt like drifting in space but I see this new record as a journey from the outer reaches of the universe down onto the earth, like a macrocosm to microcosm arc”.Earth Patterns is out now on all streaming platforms.

Earth Patterns is out now on all streaming platforms.

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