Embrace Storms is a new solo work from James Murray. Consisting of two long-form sound collages, listeners will find Murrays’s music, like much of the planet, to be in a state of conflict, the middle of a prolonged storm. Opener ‘In Your Head’ contrasts and compliments the closing piece ‘In Your Heart’, as one cannot live without the other.
Embrace Storms is the first multi-format split release between London’s Slowcraft Records and Milan’s KrysaliSound, two independent labels from two different nations with one goal in mind: a dedication to pursuing original, minimal, and unclassifiable music through a gorgeous set of limited editions.
At first, Murray’s music resists the storm, refusing to accept its reality, only to later trust the process. Acceptance produces calm, but it’s hard to remain calm when normality snaps and everything is swept away.
When the mind refuses to confront, tones are left to chaotically spin, almost losing their balance with the rapid oscillations and rising dynamics. Apart from these elements, the music remains relatively calm. Even when something undesirable hits the fan, it seems that Murray can close his eyes, calm the section, and continue on. There’s no panic or a reflexive decision.
Embrace Storms doesn’t turn to look the other way. It embraces the fight, knowing that it’ll come out all the stronger, a development of character that can only be gained by going through the twister, and sometimesslogging through the sludge of surging floodwater. This storm has been growing for years, delivering a steady, soul-bruising rainfall instead of an instant downpour.
Of the two, ‘In Your Heart’ is the feeler and not the thinker. Introverted notes cycle back in on themselves until they are pulled into the heart of the music, carried into a tornado-like funnel that spins in the centre of the track. They are kept there, to be stored up and used as motivation and encouragement when things seem difficult. Gold is refined in the fire. It’s time to face the music and dance.