Cultural Bulletin
Cultural Bulletin is a quarterly magazine that provides an international view of creative work. We look to film, music, design and art as signifiers of our cultural moment.

In Review: G.S Schray - First Appearance 


Label: Last Resort

... a nature resort with plentiful grass, foliage and plants. Now, imagine a crystalline river that winds down a valley with trees overhanging as the sun produces portals of light on the rippling surface. Green and craggy mountainous structures stand immortally in the distance as birds arc around them. The sky is deep blue save for emergent strips of yellow, orange and pink as dusk slowly looms. You take off your glasses, you are at home, you go to the kitchen to get your toast before putting your glasses on and returning to this other VR world. 

G.S Schray’s second album First Appearance offers similar utility in its ability to transport you to another place; such is the vivid and detail with which the album is executed. However, the record goes beyond soothing assurance although expressing some characteristically typical ambient traits. The structures and instrumentation continually evolve. Tracks seemingly possess their own ecology which in turn produces a cause and effect-like dialogue between instruments and musical passages. 

Well known comparisons could include Brian Eno’s Another Green World or the roaming instrumental sections of John Martyn songs. Both present notions of the ideal as opposed to pure escapism which is also where First Appearance excels. Musically speaking, it is easier to build arid and hostile landscapes than ones which reflect abundance and life - the risk of falling into a ‘new-age’ pastiche is much higher. Schray’s evident technical ability and eye for composition see him deftly avoid these pitfalls to produce, in First Appearance, an album that will please and nourish you. AG