David Cross, ex-King Crimson and Sean Quinn’s Cold Sky Blue

5th July 2016

Title: Cold Sky Blue

Label: Esoteric

Cross…as in David Cross, the violinist/mellotron player from King Crimson and Sean Quinn  who has been signed up to the Psychonavigation and E.G. labels and has produced electronica works. the pair are joined by Beth Hirsch on vocal duties.

The press release says that the works here are, “…a sonic melting pot taking in Prog, Ambient, Synthpop & even a sprinkling of Dubstep.”

I’m not sure about that lot. What I can hear here is a sort of ambitious, innovative electro pop. One that tags the past as much as the future but one that has its over-arching eye firmly on a commercial target. There’s nothing too strenuous here in terms of concepts, nothing that makes you reach in terms of your ability to grasp the musical intentions. This is pretty easy going, flowing music that tends to wash over you. The vocal duties from the likes of Hirsch and others including Brendon Staunton, Paul Gilmer and Thomas Trux, are pretty bland in that they don’t really make a statement, they merely accompany the instrumentation along the side of the creative road.

Counting the Stars is a perfect example of that. Staunton’s vocals are quite unremarkable while Cross plays the electric violin in an ambient fashion and its Quinn (and not Cross) who pitches in with Mellotron work.

Quinn is back with the electro nostalgia with On Spider Hill with Moog runs that provides textural flavours to Cross’ electric violin while Quinn gives us a brief four lines of lyrics. I actually found Quinn’s own vocal efforts more effective than the so-called professionals on this album. It was somehow a better fit, simpatico with the atmosphere and sonic constructions.

Patchy but there’s enough going on here to make the album worthy of investigation.