Monday, May 18, 2020

Album Review: Pacific Blue by Nicholas Gunn

Nicholas Gunn is an English recording artist who first rose to prominence in the early 1990s with his innovate soundscape music that explored themes of the American Southwest. Among his iconic works include the landmark albums The Sacred Fire and The Music of the Grand Canyon, which helped to shape what was then an emerging style of music commonly dubbed ‘ethnic fusion’, and having remained widely popular since. But these days Gunn has shifted his focus from world flute vistas to electronic dance culture with his trance music recording moniker Limelght. He’s also continued releasing works under his own name, but in a more ambient/chillout style that's on similar par with Schiller, Blank & Jones or (Above and Beyond presents) Oceanlab.

Following his stunning 2019 full-length release, Riding the Thermals, Gunn has returned with the equally enthralling Pacific Blue for another sensual voyage into Balearic ambient-trance. Drawing much of its inspiration from the ocean, the album paints vivid images of open waters, sunny seacoasts and endlessly blue horizons.

The gorgeous opener “Into the Vastness” sets sail with dance-trance sequencer patterns accentuated by sparse piano notes and cinematic swells, which effectively evoke oceanic waves crashing upon the shore. Joining Gunn once again on a handful of cuts is singer Alina Renae. Her sultry vocals deliver accessible melodies on highlights like “Fallen” and “Out from the Deep”, which perfectly compliment the overall beachy and breezy vibe of the compositions. My favorite piece on here is “Sailing”, an epic chill-trance instrumental that intensely bursts forth with electrifying passion while culminating into a whirlpool of sonic ecstasy. Additionally layering in both fluidly electric and warmly acoustic guitars along the way, Gunn's lushly organic-electronic soundscapes often convey a sense of euphoric escapism and wishful longing.

An indisputable musical legend in the realm of atmospheric and electronic music, Nicholas Gunn can demonstrably transition from one style of music to the next, both masterfully and authentically. Another supremely blissful offering from one of ambient/chillout’s finest, Pacific Blue is a must-have album that deserves to be on everyone’s summer playlist! ~Candice Michelle

Available at Amazon and other music retail and streaming platforms. 

Also check out our exclusive audio interview with Nicholas Gunn that we conducted earlier last year here.