Album review: TONOCHROME – A Map In Fragments

TONOCHROME - A Map In Fragments

Bad Elephant Music [Release date 02.02.18]

The debut album from London based art rock quartet, has proggy undertones, but at heart is more rooted in jazz and ambient soundscapes.

The brainchild of singer and main songwriter Andres Razzini, it’s an easy listening affair – the opener, The Ridge, building around a Tubular Bells style construction and ending up sounding like Japan meets Elbow.

Subtle brass and strings programming courtesy of keyboardist Steve Holmes – add to the ambience, combining well with the delicate guitar lines of guitarist Charlie Cawood (Mediaeval Baebes), and the understated rhythm section of Jack Painting (drums) and Andres Castellanos (bass), as one track weaves gently into the next, with a number of short ‘interludes’ disguising the transition.

There’s relatively little by way of rocking out, with sparsity and ‘mood’ being the main drivers, although numbers like ‘Just Like Us’ add a sprinkling of John Mitchell style proggy pop/rock to proceedings.

Impossible to pigeon hole, A Map In Fragments would probably be best described at ‘delicate melancholia delivered with a touch of unassuming class’.  But tapping into a broad enough audience could prove tricky.  ***

Review by Pete Whalley

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