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Mark Peters – Innerland album review

Engineers man goes on short, sweet instrumental excursion.

mark peters

After making two albums of ambient electronica with Engineers bandmate Ulrich Schnauss, this Lancastrian has ventured out alone on this solo debut, and if you can judge an album by its cover, he’s onto a winner. The artwork is themed around an imaginary ordnance survey Landranger map, taking in such evocative-sounding spots as Shaley Brow and Twenty Bridges. As ever with this kind of impressionistic, ambient fare, the rest is in the imagination of the beholder, as the latter track’s pearly notes of guitar meander like a man wandering half asleep across windswept moors as dotted clouds of foreboding puff forth from the moody bassline. Windy Arbour has a throbbing techno pulse underpinning its tip-toeing keyboards and rainy streaks of guitar, and if he sounds like he’s sniffing up snot back up his nostrils from time to time, so would you if you were stuck outdoors braving the elements. Sometimes you half long for the breathy vocals and atmospheric melodies that made Engineers, or a unifying musical figure or two, to give a greater sense of cohesion. But as a soundtrack to wandering alone in the wilderness, with no particular place to go, it’s an invigorating journey.

Johnny Sharp
Johnny Sharp

Johnny is a regular contributor to Prog and Classic Rock magazines, both online and in print. Johnny is a highly experienced and versatile music writer whose tastes range from prog and hard rock to R’n’B, funk, folk and blues. He has written about music professionally for 30 years, surviving the Britpop wars at the NME in the 90s (under the hard-to-shake teenage nickname Johnny Cigarettes) before branching out to newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent and magazines such as Uncut, Record Collector and, of course, Prog and Classic Rock