si tew – when the clouds ran away

Si-Tew - When The Clouds Ran Away coverEver had that discussion with your music loving friends who just can’t get into Beats or Future Beats, because they think it’s all too ‘electronic, emotionless and off-grid’? You know, the people who think that the only ‘real’ music is if an artist is holding a ‘real’ instrument and is singing heartfelt lyrics on how awful their latté-drinking-suburban-love-story is? Here’s the album to give ‘m that little push into modern electronic beat music, and to get them join your conversation.


Si Tew – When The Clouds Ran Away” is the perfect crossover album when it comes to dope drums, sick synths and beautiful melodic arrangements. Easily switching styles without losing overall coherence in sound, the UK artist from the Atjazz stable called Simon Tew has created a debut album that will prove to be timeless classic.


Next to being a well-crafted effort when it comes to melodics and arrangement, it’s also one of those albums you can easily listen to because it’s so damn well sculpted sound-wise. Because of this you’ll be exposed to more and other types sounds than you’d probably listen and like, simply because the songs lie so easily in your ears.


Silhouette (Feat. Shanade) is a refined ballad-like track with beautiful dragging vocals reminiscent of mid-90s Future Jazz. With its little LFO’d bassline and synthy string backdrop it’s the least pop-sounding of the three vocal tracks on the album. Independent Light (Feat. Dwayne Hayden and Jack Da Lad) is a cool but conscious track featuring a groovy sung intro, topped off by two heartfelt verses about personal human struggles. The drums are Hip Hop styled laced with strings, plucked guitars, chords and a simple but strong triplet synth. The Future Jazz feel is combined with a touch of mature R&B on Need To Grow (Feat. Pete Simpson). Jazzy guitar licks and soft Rhodes-like chords accompany the swaying Pete Simpson on this non-corny love-song.


The more Beat-minded songs on the album have more deeper and sometimes darker feeling. Reflections shows a little bit of sampling to accompany the overall haunting synths, giving this mostly electric song a little bit of human touch. A little gliding triplet synth is blinking over a degrading trance-like stab, while the basic beat progresses into a more wild and breaking form. This almost post-apocalyptic feel is continued on Hard Look, where vocal cuts from an otherwise sweet love song by Patrice Rushen are transformed into an eerie atmosphere. The cut-up and gliding minor synths match the glitch-hop type drumset perfectly, while and arp-like melody ripples through the background. Further in the album, All You Need To Know picks up this same eerie feeling, but now with a more melancholic approach. Degraded drumsamples, over-the-top modulated synths and nice looping melody at the base.


Even though Black & White has no drums and (apparent) synths on it, and is basically a short piece for piano and strings, Si Tew utilizes a structure in the composition that doesn’t need a beat to be rhythmical. Although already contemporary in its arrangement, some well-placed fx are used to ditch any stuffy classical feel you might expect. The same goes for the acoustic-guitar based Cold Day, with its subtle end-of-bar backwards looping. Starting off with the guitar, the string ensemble takes over at the climax, making this song perfect behind any movie scene that wants to portray a profound but itself content or even happy feel.


Combining the last two types of styles, Vaguely Fading (Red) and Why Answer? follows the kick-snare drumset but now with real piano chords and an arrangement of strings that will cut painlessly through flesh. On the first track the emphasis lies on the organic side, with the synths accompanying the instruments, whereas on the latter it’s the other way around. For the eager listeners there’s a hidden reprise of Cold Day at the very end of the album.


On “When The Clouds Ran Away” Si Tew demonstrates with ease that beautiful contemporary classical music can go well hand in hand with the electronics of today, and that orchestral hits aren’t only meant to give a boost to your hardcore beat. In stead of dropping a beat on an orchestral piece or spicing up a drumset with an instrumental sample, the album is a 100% fusion of the conventional and the futuristic. Get your physical or digital copy at Bandcamp or your favorite online retailer, and follow Mr. Tew on Facebook / Twitter / Soundcloud.