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Reviewed by Sammy Jay Dawson

Sean Bodley: Acoustic Soundscapes

Reviewed by Sammy Jay Dawson

Sean Bodley: Acoustic Soundscapes

Described as a collection of laid back, mellow tunes to relax to, Sean Bodley‘s latest no frills release illustrates its point well. Hailing from Tauranga, Bodley is known for his extensive session work, with his band Budokan and his solo work. Although there’s still evidence of his most obvious influences of earlier albums, most notably Steve Vai on The Gift, ‘Acoustic Soundscapes’ is primarily instrumental acoustic loops. More Joe Satriani than Michael Chapman, Bodley gives himself many chances to show off his chops throughout, but tastefully allows the songs to speak before any attempt at fretboard heroics. Although some may first appear too lethargic, repeat listens of tracks such as Surface Dweller reveal more world music influences, and will surprise listeners with their virtuosity when standing beside some of the albums more mellow affairs. Self-recorded and mixed, with mastering done by Tim Julian at The Colour Field Recording Studio, Bodley has done a great job at bringing forward the album’s darker side as well as its light. Last Rays From A Dying Sun, probably the most lavishly produced track, boasts vocal harmonies as well as South American panflute. Recorded between 2000 and 2014, there are many hints as to where Bodley could take his music next, as he toys with Irish folk, Flamenco and blues. While the ‘New Age’ tag might scare a few punters away, those willing will be impressed by the record’s chilled out nature.