Life is full of reappearances and memories. Several months ago, I disappeared from some of your social media radars. No worries, I wasn’t ghosting you, but various issues of real life came up, both with difficult and enjoyable aspects. The difficult ones have disappeared, probably different ones will reappear, and the wonderful times still remain.
Long before that one of my favorite musicians Alan Morse Davies intentionally disappeared from the free music scene. Everything on Archive.org vanished. This was his gig, I get it, everyone has got to do what is best for them at the time. His album Amusement Park Phases on 4–4–2 Music has been one of my favorite albums since it came out in 2007 and if the netlabel scene has some classic albums this would be one of them.
Over the last five months, I have been downloading and listening to lots of music. Lots. I’ve listened to over 300 albums with even more unlistened to. It gets daunting sometimes.
As I was gearing up to write some more reviews, Alan quietly released some new work on his netlabel At Sea Music. The first was Recovery Songs. These three ambient tracks are laden with sweeping synthesizers and beautiful church-like vocals. The album feels like a requiem, but instead of death, the songs, guided by the album title Recovery Songs, point to a rebirth, “it is full of quiet joy” as Alan writes.
Alan Morse Davies’ “David”
The second release is a compendium of work that Alan completed between 2011 and 2013. How to Contact God When He’s Out of Cellphone Range is vastly different, most ambient and others out rightly experimental, but it is the loneliness of being an expatriate, a Welsh man living in Hong Kong, that ties these works together, whether it is “Ffarwel i Gymru” in this album or “Under Cardigan Bay” on Recovery Songs. Though I enjoyed the ambient works, I was more drawn to “The Adams Life Insurance Company”.
Alan Morse Davies’ “The Adams Life Insurance Company”
I’m back and, more importantly, Alan is back. We both have things to do. The free music scene will always continue to have reappearances, but hopefully we will always have the music. Alan has also released a work with Dave Seidel entitled Porch, Rain, Thunder back in March 2016.
Title: How to Contact God When He’s Out of Cellphone Range
Netlabel: At Sea Music
Release Date: May 2016
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Download mp3: zip