Ethan Johnstone is better known as the drummer with the prog-rock bands Night Idea and Houdan the Mystic, than as solo performer Brother Rutherford, has turned his hand to composition within what could be termed as a mash of electronica, guitar and percussion to create Tunneling, a journey into a sound garden of strange, enjoyable and almost mystical spaces, places and fascinating choices.
Light Guides introduces this ‘home grown’ work, twelve months in the making, with an almost funky, jangling entrance to the world of mystical, magical places. Into the Hedges welcomes in the sound of violin, followed with a beautiful guitar solo, before moving into the electronic beat which is a rather intriguing and enjoyable combination – simply what it is, neither one thing nor the other.
Somewhat eerie is East Wind, a sneaky, drifting peice enhanced by stark percussion, sharp guitarwork and an electronic thread holding the piece together, allowing the image to be created of a lazy, haunting wind discovered in the darker corners of the garden.
Alizarin Skyline changes the beat to a more up-tempo style that is sharper, a stronger electronic element emerging from the pieces, allowing the construction of ‘spacemusic’ to evolve into a new element of the garden. Once again ethereal, a little ‘spooky’ but very clever, in that the more the sound settles on the ear, the more there is to be discovered.
A complete change of pace is provided in the penultimate Other Side of Shadows which tends to jangle along with a very nicely orchestrated synth smorgasbord, different, experimental and once again intriguing.
The final or additional song is a short snappy little piece, Always There which completes this nine track, debut album from a young musician who has delivered an album of electronic variety, in a genre that is beginning once again to come into its own in the world of ambient, new age music.
Tunnelling is a surprizing work from a young man who has a definite feel for ‘spacemusic’ and a musician who has fabricated an eclectic and vibrant soundscape of interesting conceptual ideas to great effect.