American multi-instrumentalist Matthew Stewart previously made appearances on albums and live performances of Spotted Peccary artists David Helpling, Jon Jenkins and Deborah Martin.
The concept of Stewart’s debut album “A world bathed in sunlight” addresses a kindred theme as Robert Rich’s “What we left behind”, dealing with the aftermath of the destruction of earth along the rebirth of humanity elsewhere in a new world.
Stewart’s contemporary-instrumental music though airs a positive spirit and is highly accessible from the start. At first glance the electronic, piano-centered recording with additional bass and e-guitar licks seem to fit in the Spotted Peccary framework offering a warm, comforting and smooth-rhythmic sound design with subtle dynamics. “Falling Stone” stands out due to a more powerful, compelling and dramatic content but should have lasted much longer. “Aftermath” following next turns out too cheesy and easy-going overall despite attempts of creating tension and drama. Unfortunately, this loungy character lasts on the remaining tracks except the closing piece “Canvas”. It’s a nice, simple and elegant composition with heart and soul but arriving too late unfortunately.
All in all, despite some hints of the works of Jon Jenkins and David Helpling along an excellent sound, “A world bathed in sunlight” doesn’t create enough impact to keep interest while I also feel the featured rhythms fall flat most of the time.
Sonic Immersion © 2020