“Flow” in Merchants of Air

There is an old saying that goes “You can’t always get want you want, but you’ll always get what you need”. Today, that saying feels quite applicable, at least for me. I was supposed to go to a rock festival but acute back pain nailed me to my sofa. Yet, yesterday an album came in that just might ease the pain and get me through the day. It was (and is) one of those beautiful releases from Krysalisound, who always seem to handle everything with great care and respect towards both artist and listener.

‘Flow’ is the fourth album by Francis M. Gri, residing in Italy. The album is a collection of soundscapes, minimalistic melodies and calm, soothing textures, created by guitars, piano and field recordings. The most surprising track might be opener ‘Swell’, which seems to be inspired by the synths in ‘Go’ by Moby but evolves into a beautiful ambient meets modern classical track. Other acts that come to mind, include Bersarin Quartett, John Lemke, Goldmund, A Winged Victory For The Sullen and in ‘Flutter’ even some cinematic post rock acts.

My favorite track on this album is ‘Low’, which brings me to the references to classic and iconic ambient producers. With this track, and some others, Francis M. Gri manages to place himself in the so-called “big leagues”. Brian Eno, Biosphere and David Sylvian come to mind. Not a bad set of names to be compared with if you ask me. Closer ‘Still Rain’ is another favorite, a masterpice of minimal melodies and immersive soundscapes. So yeah, the verdict is quite clear. This is yet another excellent ambient album, one that truly deserves a spot in your collection.

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