Reviewed by: Felipe Tinoco
James Elkingtons and Nathan Salsburg are up and coming guitarists who have been collaborating for over five years. Their musical chemistry has matured and they are now releasing their second album, titled Ambsace – a guitar duo record with interplay and contemplative moods.
“Up of Stairs,” the opening track, strikes as music that is too technical for calling deep emotional growth on the listener. Nevertheless, it displays presence and interplay between Elkington and Salsburg as their chordal playing compliments each other, adding notes to a unique sonic effect.
In “Intervention #4”, sections are repeated and performed with consistency, but the music itself is repetitive in its use of choruses and “verses” in an instrumental piece, without catchy lyrics to sustain it. An example of richness of sound but with no expectation delivered is the fifth track, “The Unhaunted Williams.” In this track, dissonant chords and unsettling cadences build up and create an expectation of deep sound with strings pulling your guts – but then it dissipates and loses momentum. And then it repeats.
Despite not demanding too much attention from one’s ears, the music by James Elkington and Nathan Salsburg has its own place and occasion. Ambsace plays with ambience and sound, and should be heard as music that stimulates insight and contemplation.