On this album, Jeffrey Koepper maintains his connection to the pure emotional impact of pure analog sound. All the music is composed entirely with vintage analog synths, drum machines and analog sequencers. The music explores deep emotional moods and atmospheres through a combination of ambient textures, sequencer-based structures and evocative soundscapes combined to create a compelling journey of discovery and stimulation the imagination. The music is emerges with an organic flowing feel, blooming into moods that reveal somber peacefulness as well as epic hopefulness.
With 63 tracks and a total running time of just under four hours, Dust On The Nettles examines the metamorphosis that British folk underwent during the late 1960s, when the influence of psychedelia and the counterculture saw the idiom being twisted into all kinds of new and exotic shapes, as the finger-in-the-ear folk clubs of yore were inexorably drawn into a brave new world of Arts Labs, free festivals and the nascent college/university circuit.
Pianist Dong Hyek Lim, a bit older than the youthful face in the graphics might suggest, has gained a reputation as a Chopin specialist, with restrained, often exquisitely detailed performances made for the small recital hall rather than for the concert hall. This was, of course, the kind of venue for which Chopin wrote most of his music, and this is a very fine tour through the much-recorded 24 Preludes, Op. 28, which form the centerpiece of this album. Lim does well to introduce things with the flashier and rarely played Variations brillantes in B flat major, Op. 12, commanding the listener's attention before delving into the Preludes, some of the most harmonically intricate music Chopin wrote. Sample any of the really famous Preludes, such as the Prelude in E minor, Op. 28, No. 4, for an idea of what Lim is up to here: he not only lingers over dissonances, but explores their potential directions with sensitivity and intelligence, all while keeping the top of the dynamic range not very high. Lim takes you back to the public world with the Berceuse in D flat major, Op. 57, and Barcarolle in F sharp major, Op. 60, which show him to be capable of a more brilliant style. London's Henry Wood Hall fits these pieces well, but Warner's engineers might have gone with even a more intense, intimate space for the preludes. In any event, the performance of those is one of the most absorbing to have come along in quite some time.