Deniz Cuylan: No Such Thing as Free Will (Hush Hush Records, 2021)

April 5, 2021 at 7:44 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Deniz Cuylan: No Such Thing as Free Will

Turkish musician Deniz Cuylan’s first solo album is a set of six delicate compositions for classical guitar, with subtle electronic enhancements and sparingly used cello and woodwind textures. While opener “Clearing” is sort of unassuming and drifts by softly, “Purple Plains of Utopia” is truly vivid, with beautiful interlocked guitar patterns and the other instruments rising up underneath at regular intervals. “She Was Always Here” breathes in a similar way, and switches to more of a gently dancing rhythm halfway through, with bowed strings rocking back and forth underneath the spiraling guitar sequence. “Flaneurs in Hakone” stunningly weaves a web of hypnotic patterns, rewarding close attention with its multi-layered details but also soothing and caressing. “Object of Desire” is a bit chilly and autumnal, with its triplets plucked rapidly like he’s trying to stay warm. The closing title track is slow and stately, with strings calmly rushing in, then gradually whittling away by the end. The album is short but heartfelt, and feels like a gentle, loving embrace while it’s playing.

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