No Drums Records
Bridge To Terabithia is a 1977 novel (and 2007 film) about two kids who discover an abandoned treehouse and create their own fantasy world to escape the trauma of their daily lives. Darren Cross has dialled into his own sonic Terabithia, in this unprecedented time of upheaval, and created a musical oasis that blends American Primitive acoustic guitar with pastoral British folk and Harold Budd/Eno-like ambience.
A cleverly spliced sample of Trump on the opener ‘Giant Wave of Instant Coffee Crushes Capitalism’ is the only voice you hear on the album but it’s quickly erased by the sublime music that follows. Ecstatic Racquet, Cross’ previous album of instrumental guitar reveries was a more traditional affair. Here he heads further out into the cosmos – most likely an internal universe where shimmering flights of fancy are taken on dreamy astral planes, searching for calm amid the digital and societal noise of the 21st century. It’s always hard to pin song titles to instrumental tracks and discern meaning but here there are references to cell towers, conspiracy theories, capitalism, medication – all things that feed into the modern malaise.
Cross’ lodestones such as Fahey and Jansch and present again but he’s sounding much more relaxed and intuitive. Amid textural field recordings he filters his playing through billowing, weightless reverb which adds an ambient shroud of nostalgia to the music, like an organic New Age meditation tape that tugs on heartstrings and memory – that innate urge to return to comfort and safety.