What can we expect from someone born in Manchester? I was pleasantly surprised by Jeff Wootton’s debut album that I needed to spread the word.
Even though Jeff is fairly young, he played alongside some influential names such as Damon Albarn of Gorillaz, Mick Jones and Paul Simon of The Clash, and not to forget his collaborations with Brian Eno, Nick Zinner and some other names which are too numerous to mention.
I was really interested in his solo project and was glad it reached my ears. The fact he is a multiinstrumentalist and played all by himself except the drums got me even more interested in hearing his work.
What I could feel at the first listening (that is surely not going to be the last one) is that we have one outstanding artist here, the one whose understanding of music is complex, led buy great knowledge and skills, feelings and intuition; Jeff thinks outside the box. This album can be labelled as “alternative” as it surely is not for just any listener, but for those who can dive together with Jeff into the “Sea of Sound” as the opening track suggests. You can find the elements of alternative rock but at times the sound gets ethereal, ambiental and even psychedelic. I would not label this album as “experimental” music as this is in no way an experiment, Jeff knew exactly what he wanted to deliver. “Sea of Sound” transforms itself into “Venus” keeping the alternative rock vibe with the hypnotic vocals on “Venus”. On “Sonik Drips” and “Reprise” Jeff decides to give us some more ambient sound and another interesting track is “Ceremony Waltz”, I feel is in fact a real waltz with a touch of psychedelia. “The Eternal” is surely another track to pay attention to, as it brings us a more exotic sound; we can hear the Imzad being played here, an African instrument whose sound incorporates greatly into the general feel of the album, that of melancholia and hypnotizing atmosphere. If you are up to some real guitar mastership, dive into this amazing guitar experience with Jeff at “The End” and let his guitar paint a sound landscape for you; it’s amazing that a guitar sound can paint such a landscape, just close your eyes and take a trip with Jeff, you won’t regret a minute!
Enjoy the video for “Sonik Drips”!