JEFF AUG – Kiss Of The Liquid Moon

Heavy Progressive / Brainstorm Music 2024

Kiss Of The Liquid Moon

Unplugged again, six-string wizard spellbinds his old aficionados and freshly acquired followers alike.

Those whose horizon Jeff Aug’s silhouette shaded only after he had soiled his chops to go off on a collective tangent with APE SHIFTER might be surprised to find that the guitarist’s main course of action was always acoustic so, in the light of this album’s arrival, embracing heaviness feels like a clever way for the Germany-based American to corral new listeners to his cause. Set to hiatus mode in terms of recording a quarter-century ago, his solo career is resumed with an arresting series of elegant flourishes which not only form the dozen pieces on display but also stitch them into a single, singular even, tapestry – in turn, rippling with worry and soothing the audience with wonderful melodies: some already aired from the stage, others consigned to the studio environment, yet all mesmeric to say the least.

And if titular openers “The Kiss” and “Liquid Moon” stream their exquisite, folk-and-flamenco-informed balladry in a slightly sterile manner, keeping Aug’s fretboard voyages in emotional check before letting dynamics loose and gaining momentum, the fiery “Fuck The Neighbors” rages with nuclear energy, threatening to fly off at any moment and hit the faint-hearted, whereas the throbbing “Quarantine” offers an overwhelmingly ambient experience through its finely filigreed flurries of notes. By the same token, though the cello-and-piano-augmented “Baritone Butterfly” and “Matilda´s Lullaby” seem rather chamber and “Two Rooms” rather breezy, “Ceramic Tiles” can’t help but stun both romantics and cynics with the detailed magnificence of Jeff’s performance, while the explosive, ivories-infused “One Way Beat” is relentlessly driven by a proper groove towards Rio carnivals to burst there with electric fusion, and the equally incendiary “Bogracz” doesn’t allow the temperature to go down.

That’s exactly how the kiss of a liquid moon should manifest itself: ever-changing yet fantastically gripping.


February 25, 2024

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