I’m not really sure how Earl Donald does it but Shadow Visions is both a love letter and a goodbye note to a city. It shimmers with the night time allure of the modern urban world, the soulful brass sounds adding a touch of sophistication to the busy beats and electronic washes. But somehow there is also the overwhelming and impersonal feeling of being lost in all the hustle and bustle of the modern metropolis.
What’s even more interesting is his ability to set up such a dichotomy of feeling using such a laid back vibe. The weight of the city and feeling of claustrophobia coming from the myriad textures and deft layering rather than any cheap use of speed or volume. And it is the perfect approach, the urban world being an array of sounds, some close up, many half-heard or perhaps not even consciously registered. And such it is with this clever use of less is more sonic engineering.