This review originally featured in The Skinny.
If writing about music is like dancing about architecture, then who knows what music that’s written about architecture is comparable to. Either way, this series of pieces inspired by multi-instrumentalist Andrew Wasylyk’s hometown of Dundee further augments his talents as both musician and composer.
Originally conceived as an arts festival piece, Themes For Buildings and Spaces paints an elegant but eerie aural picture of an ever-changing cityscape, and despite the absence of Wasylyk’s normally exquisite vocal, this sits well as a stand-alone soundtrack, not just for those familiar with the evolving architectural aesthetics of Scotland’s fourth largest city.
Cyclical piano lines weave through subtle, filmic strings and sorrowful brass embellishments on opener Drift, with the delicate percussive touches and playful keys of Under High Blue Skies following. Via Crucis invokes 1940s movie mysteries while Ghosts of Park Place is disconcerting with haunting synths and distant echoes of carefree children at play. Come the Autumn is a horn-driven, brooding beauty before the rhythmic riffs of Lower Dens Works echo the jute mill machinery of Dundee’s days gone by. The Howff is the formidable final scene; sinister with a lingering, sorrowful air.
This type of music-making might not be entirely unchartered water for Wasylyk, but Themes For Buildings and Spaces shows just how adept a composer he’s become.