David Grubb – Nano

Album Review | Self Release | Review by Allan Wilkinson

Originally intended as an EP, Nano developed into a full length album of original instrumental compositions, with some reference to David Grubb’s traditional roots.  Still made up of just five pieces plus a short introduction, Nano encompasses all the thought processes, feelings and concerns of those of a songwriter, yet endeavours to demonstrate what he’s thinking without the use of words.  Inspiration comes from the environment we live in, with all the political and economical concerns built into the mood and shifting tempos within these tracks. 

“SOS” appears to be sending out a cry for help in Morse code, while the fiddle laments and emotes through the jagged figures throughout.  If “SOS” is indeed a call for help and urgent assistance, then “The Space Between”, provides a sense of calm and despair at the same time, like sitting for a while in the Rothko Room at Tate Modern, in fact, come to think of it, the colours used for the album’s artwork seem to reflect precisely this.   For musical build and tension, we need look no further than “Super”, the liner notes of which reflect the mood of the piece, hope, warmth, reflection and acceptance.   Thoughtful music captured flawlessly.