Steve Gibbs - Adrift album review

Solid, affecting modern classical work from the British pianist

Steve Gibbs - Adrift album artwork

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It’s no surprise that pianist Steve Gibbs studied Art & Design. His music lends itself to the visual imagination, the spaces within its architecture allowing the mind to run free, to paint pictures of its own as you listen.

His piano arrangements are spare, muted, their chord structures simple, but he knows just when to colour a passage with strings, when to treat his piano with a sparse effect. Posting his work on Soundcloud, Gibbs won many sync deals over the years, for TV advertisements, short films and documentaries. Adrift too was originally launched online, and now it’s been remastered and repackaged for its proper release, vinyl ’n’ all, and it deserves to bring him to wider notice. Gibbs cites younger composers like Keith Kenniff and Jon Hopkins as influences, but it also calls to mind Nyman, Einaudi and even Sakamoto. Passion and Evoke are lovely understated pieces, the icy title track is Sigur Rós on a comedown, and the beguiling Raklipp – with its gently warping arpeggios and lyrical melody – was written to develop the burgeoning love between two characters in a short film, and works nicely. A beautifully produced work, Adrift’s crafted ambience sets it just the right side of chillout.

Grant Moon

A music journalist for over 20 years, Grant writes regularly for titles including Prog, Classic Rock and Total Guitar, and his CV also includes stints as a radio producer/presenter and podcast host. His first book, 'Big Big Train - Between The Lines', is out now through Kingmaker Publishing.