Exposé Online banner

John Gregorius — Still Voice
(Spotted Peccary SPM-1802, 2016, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2016-05-18

Still Voice Cover art

Gregorius’ second Spotted Peccary release captures the essence of stillness, beauty, and tranquility, often brimming with solitude and introspection, in ten highly melodic guitar based compositions. Gregorius plays all guitars (nylon string and electric, fingerpicked) as well as keyboards, bass, programming, and loops, bathing them generously in studio reverb type effects, but not to the point where the instrumetation takes a back seat to those effects. Guest players provide additional upright bass, cello, clarinet, viola, drums, voice and piano, accenting the compositions with additional coloration. This is one of those rare albums that captures the imagination, recalling the beauty and wonder of nature in a very cinematic way, providing simple yet compelling vignettes encompassing soothing and relaxed moods that make you want to keep pressing that replay button. Thirty years ago Still Voice might have been right at home on the Windham Hill label, along with artists like Michael Hedges, Alex DeGrassi, and Nightnoise. The key difference between this and so many other ‘ambient’ releases: this is driven by guitar, played openly in fingerstyle, not hidden behind synths, swells, effects, and textures. As a typical example of what’s here, the second cut “Wonder of Grace” opens with a simple guitar figure, repeating with additional layers of complimentary guitar added as it goes, underpinned by bass and understated drumming, with female voice and viola driving the main melody, before looping back around again. The title track opens with a shimmering guitar figure, again layering over itself, then presenting a positively unforgettable melody, backed by haunting strings and synths; not particularly complex, but beautiful and effective. Still Voice works superbly as it presents well defined melodies and orchestrations across all ten tracks, holding the listeners interest while soothing the soul.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): John Gregorius

Latest news

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Elton Dean - QED – Elton Dean’s recent associations with Hammond organ specialist Alex Maguire (as heard on HUX’s excellent release Psychic Warrior) have been gradually building over time. QED is one of the...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues