Steven Ball’s Bastard Island by Alan Savage

Bastard Island

Like a director of some impressionistic unscripted film, Steven Ball has created what I can only describe as field poetry, with a soundscape that blurs the lines between the conscious waking world and the mystical world beyond the veil. The instrumentation is never intrusive, hinting at possibilities rather than finalities. The songs are pieced together as happenstance, yet there is a disciplined compositional method at work here. This is a textured and intriguing work that draws you in and no, you’re not waiting for the chorus or hook. I played this album for a good week solid on the way to work and I found it had a calming effect on me.

So this is a recording that has a functional purpose too. To call this music something clichéd like ‘left field ambient’ would be doing it a gross injustice. This is an album that is a prime reason to explore music that is outside the peripheries of the mainstream and everything you are familiar with. I enjoy the unfamiliar journey of music like this. Stick with it and return to it; you will find it richly rewarding.

 Alan Savage is a Middlesbrough born author, poet, singer and songwriter. His many previous bands include Basczax and The Flaming Mussolinis.