Quietly engaging exploration of a guitar orchestra setting and telepathic interplay possibilities.
Having road-tested their collaboration to the point of releasing live album “Travels To The West” in 2012, England-based guitar-slingers Meier and Oxley, both having a blooming solo career, transferred the instrumental operation into the studio to flesh it out. Taking advantage of this environment’s possibility to stack individual parts and create an ensemble sound, the two also took care of not losing an iota of their on-stage spontaneity and each one’s personal touch. Such a rift grows progressively to be fully revealed in closer “Uzun Ince Bir Yoldayim” where Nicolas’ Eastern attachment finds a perfect balance with Pete’s European reverie, yet there’s an equal share in the twain’s nylon-string meeting on “Looking West” which sees them exchange emotional passages to remove the piece’s initial chamber disposition.
The clue to it lies in opening number “The Followers”: as Oxley trades jazz flurries with Meier’s softer vignettes, a wholly unified tapestry is being unfurled, while “The Bridge” provides a different connection, one of smooth, fluid lines drawn by Nicolas’ glissentar and Pete’s guitar synthesizer, resulting in wondrous Latin-tinged unisons and divergences and acoustic lace. The flow comes delicately enchanting in “Serene” whose title says it all, save for how gripping are the ballad’s filigree fibre that’s hung on its tunes’ sweet unpredictability – also manifesting itself in the electric buzz of “Breezin’ On” where the surf-like rumble does the taking – yet another bridge is lowered in “Riversides” which marries Celtic folk motif to a twangy Asian pattern. Nothing flashy in there, and “Bluster” adds a retro feel to the mix, but altogether “Chasing Tales” offers a refreshing experience of elusive miracles.