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Leo Abrahams
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  • Honeytrap
  • The Grape And The Grain








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    Leo Abrahams

    Honeytrap 7 ( 2005 )
    Kristiansand / Playground / Slippery Jack / Rise / Siren / Honeytrap / The Distance / Footprints / Control / In Doubt / Spider / Tonight / Mirror Sister / Seeing Stars

    A session player who has worked with several essteemed names. Brian Eno, Ed Hardcourt and David Holmes have all benefitted from the atmospheric touch of Leo Abrahams. You know who i'd like to see him work with? They are probably two diametrically opposed people, but that's why it appeals to me. I'd like to see him work with Lawrence from Felt. Anybody remember Maurice Deebank, the first Felt guitarist? He created all these beautiful, classically inspired and clean guitar lines. Leo Abrahams does a similar thing, although more accomplished than Deebank, suffice to say. So, what does 'Honeytrap' actually provide us with? Well, fourteen beautiful instrumentals, and unlike other such records, which tend to be a bit too ambient and background, the tone of Abrahams guitar playing keeps you coming back again. Well, at fifty five minutes, perhaps a couple of tunes similar to other tunes could have been left off, but only perhaps. Let's take the closing tune, 'Seeing Stars'. It conjures up images and pictures and also emotions. It's not just pretty for the sake of it, in fact, pretty isn't exactly the correct word. The playing above the keyboard lines and the string sounds create a tone of both love and death, beauty and sadness, and the possibilities of searching for something out of your own grasp. Track seven 'The Distance' does a similar thing, with some deep piano sounds. Indeed, it sounds like you floating off in a dream. At times, this album is indeed very evocative and beautiful.

    'Siren', as its title may suggest, demanded a noisier, funkier sound. Leo provides with an almost grinding assault on the ears that doesn't need vocals to make it work. Silly thing to say really, although. Instrumental tracks often do struggle to maintain a listeners interest across a whole albums length, unless you're Mike Oldfield or something, but then, I'm only fairly partial to Mike Oldfield, you know what I mean? Ultimately, and without going through every track here, it's very clear that Mr Abrahams is very talented and deserves an audience for his work.

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    The Grape And The Grain 8 ( 2009 )
    Masquerade / Come The Morning / From Here / Spring Snow / Blind / The Grape & The Grain / New Wine / Ends Meet / A Ghost On Every Corner / The Northern Jane / Daughter Of Persuasion

    Aww, i'd forgotten all about this guy but when I saw his new album was out, I had to pick it up. I heard a few tracks beforehand you see and knew 'The Grape And The Grain' was better than anything i'd heard from him previously. To put it simply, Leo Abrahams has crafted one of the most beautiful guitar instrumental albums I can ever recall hearing. One thing I didn't realise though is that Leo is still only twenty-seven years of age. That astonishes me, because it was four years ago he released 'Honeytrap' yet inbetween he's still found time to work with the likes of David Holmes, Ed Harcourt and Brian Eno. Anybody that reads this site and also likes Maurice Deebank from Felt will know exactly why I like this and why I especially like the third track, 'From Here' which is pure Leo Abrahams and really very lovely indeed. The mellow dream of 'From Here' is well followed up too by 'Spring Snow', which has a lighter touch with a pretty guitar pattern joined by soft bass and Piano keys. The title track joins these two favourites as Abrahams displays his touch and ability to get a really atmospheric natural tone from his guitar.

    It's been said that Brian Eno strolled into a record store and heard Leo Abrahams having a strum on a new guitar and that kind of lucky break has followed Leo Abrahams throughout his career, yet his own work remains in the sidelines, which is a shame. I guess this isn't the kind of music all but the purist music lover is going to be able to easily get into. Yet, in a scene where amateur guitar players produce bloody awful versions of what Abrahams is trying to acheive here that when placed next to those shabby efforts, 'The Grape And The Grain' shines brightly. It doesn't actually need such put downs of others efforts once you've got into it, as the atmosphere created and the impressive yet never show-offy guitar playing on both electric and acoustic is enough on its own to captivate you. As such, I highly recommend this set and hope it catches your ear as much as it's caught mine.

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    this page last updated 12/04/09



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