Reviewed by Ben Hogwood
What’s the story?
Collisions is so-named because it is the coming together of a musical trio. Tom Hodge, Ollie Newell and Ciaran Morahan are the three musicians in question, and each brings a different skill-set. Hodge is a film composer whose connections include Max Cooper and Floex, Newell is a composer and drummer, while Morahan is described as a ‘post-rock composer’, whose output includes work with Codes In The Clouds and VLMV.
What’s the music like?
There are two elements to the collaboration album – ‘Collisions’ tracks and ‘Motions’. The former set the scene and the sonic perspectives, while the latter offer free-form musical explorations, allowing Hodge’s piano and clarinet and Howell’s drums to work their magic largely unfiltered. This works particularly well. While the Collisions have a curious order (beginning with the spacious II then moving through I, III and IV), they are ideally paced. II offers a big panorama, with concrete heavy drums and spacey synths, while I is a really good blend of subtle, brushed drums and with a thoughtfully probing piano line, before bringing in a sonorous clarinet. III has a similar profile, though this time the piano is given more space to air its thoughts.
Does it all work?
Yes – and the three artists have managed to get the ideal blend of musical events and time for reflection. Collisions is in effect two genres – an underlying ambience, but with carefully thought out ideas above them that bring positive energy and vibrant colours.
Is it recommended?
Yes – enthusiastically. Collisions will reward those who enjoy musical ambience of a wider scope, such as Erland Cooper, or those who enjoy the chattering electronics of an artist such as Max Cooper, who has close connections here. Get it and revel in the musical inspiration.