"After Hours" has become a widespread calling card for the area between midnight and twilight, when all the city falls asleep except for a collective of nocturnal beings. A whole new range of attitudes - diverse styles, open perception. After Hours is when the machine turns off -and when the mind turns on. In musical terms, it is the region outside categorization, the music that slips beyond the average stream of beats. It's not based on any beat pattern. After Hours is not ambient; nor is it acid-jazz, it's the area that exists in the gray area between them. Too quirky to hold any cliches too tightly; too loose for any grand agendas. After Hours eases the mind, softens the palette and opens the door to a new day.
In this spellbinding new album, Abel gives sensitive listeners food for thought, stimulates the ear with his signature fusion of classical, rock, and jazz, and makes you feel, with his gut-grabbing epressions of potent emotion. Grammy-winning soprano Hila Plitmann brings her full emotional range to three Abel works, including “Those Who Loved Medusa,” – a powerful story and evocative musical setting that connects ancient Greek legend with our present day’s “Me Too” movement. “In the Rear-View Mirror Now” resonates with anyone reflecting upon life’s myriad twists and turns from past to present. Warmth fills “The Ocean of Forgiveness” cycle sung by mezzo-soprano Janelle DeStefano. The affecting “Benediction” expresses a range of profound emotion as it laments tragic elements in our society while offering heartfelt wishes for our future. This is hard-hitting music and text that stimulates the ear, intellect, and emotions, retaining Abel’s trademark lyricism while demonstrating a remarkable degree of prescience in pinpointing effects of long-standing societal flaws.
There was something in the air in the urban corners of late ‘60s Japan. Student protests and a rising youth culture gave way to the angura (short for “underground) movement that thrived on subverting traditions of the post-war years. Rejection of the Beatlemania-inspired Group Sounds and the squeaky clean College Folk movements led the rise of what came to be known in Japan as “New Music,” where authenticity mattered more than replicating the sounds of their idols.
With 63 tracks and a total running time of just under four hours, Dust On The Nettles examines the metamorphosis that British folk underwent during the late 1960s, when the influence of psychedelia and the counterculture saw the idiom being twisted into all kinds of new and exotic shapes, as the finger-in-the-ear folk clubs of yore were inexorably drawn into a brave new world of Arts Labs, free festivals and the nascent college/university circuit.