Thomas Simon – Walkabout

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Album Review by EDF

There are those who have enough talent to try their hand at more than one thing. Thomas Simon not only considers himself to be a composer but also a filmmaker as well. Born in Vienna, Austria, Simon is now based in New York City and has been featured on a number of musical projects. On this project called WALKABOUT, Simon explored by both sound and vision the meaning of music across different cultures across half a dozen countries. Even though some of Simon’s material can be at times dark, this collection showcases just what happens when tradition meets the 21st century.

The opening title track sounds as if Simon is exorcising the Western world out of his system as he embarks on the eve of his musical journey. It becomes obvious that Simon has some understanding of the music that he is capturing and it is not until the fourth track, THE SQUARE, that we find evidence of some of the music he recorded abroad. Up until then, it has all been convincingly Simon’s own compositions. We are treated to ambient background noises on CAMARAO SONG which is charming but not enough to engage the listener for repeated listening. The best track has got to be ROCK JOG, which was part recorded in Kathmandu, Nepal. The latter part of the album finds Simon injecting a bit too much of himself over some of the classic instrumentation and comes across as intrusive more then complementing the music he is documenting.

3 stars