North Sea Navigator - The Memory Clears the Space for What’s Needed - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

North Sea Navigator - The Memory Clears the Space for What’s Needed

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:8 Release Date:2018-04-13
North Sea Navigator - The Memory Clears the Space for What’s Needed
North Sea Navigator - The Memory Clears the Space for What’s Needed

The man behind the North Sea Navigator moniker is guitarist/composer Paul Nash who was one of the key cogs in Gravenhurst, one of the best Bristol acts of recent times. Although his North Sea Navigator project has been around for a while, The Memory Clears the Space for What’s Needed is only the third of his albums and comes after the music he prepared for a science-fiction theatre production presented in Bristol in 2016.

While Nash is the main man behind North Sea Navigator, the album includes a number of collaborators and his original three-piece ‘live’ band (now a quartet) among whom Charlotte Nicholls who played with Portishead and Crippled Black Phoenix might be a familiar name to quite a few listeners.

If The Memory Clears the Space for What’s Needed sounds like a title of a deeply serious post-rock album, it certainly should. Almost. Throughout the album like on the opening tracks “Pure Modulations in Space and Time,” you get this spatial, cinematic feel, even though practically every track includes vocals. The ones that don’t like “No Shore To Swim To”, sound tailor-made for cinema or theatre presentations.

What is quite impressive is that Nash presents his songs as whole, contained units that include sonic changes only when it seems essential. His songwriting style is also varied enough to present the listeners with all his musical knowledge and capabilities, with tracks like “You’re a Sort of Mistake” reminiscent of music he made along with the late Nick Talbot, Gravenhurst leader.

Essentially the album taken as a whole does sound like an unconsciously constructed concept where all the seemingly haphazard musical images fall snugly together like in a two thousand piece jigsaw puzzle, with Nash’s gentle, economical guitar playing like on “Follow Me, Unfollow You” being the element that connects the pieces together and puts them exactly where they could be.

All this makes The Memory Clears the Space for What’s Needed one of those albums that have a built-in capability to slowly grow on the listener.

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