‘Paradigm 3’ is the third studio album by Colchester’s own Nathan Smith, aka The Virgance. This project is a stunning collection of sublime, experimental sounds; perfectly executed, perfectly mixed. This album changed my day entirely – a total pleasure. It’s a true work of art when you know you can’t possibly skip through it – the experience requires you to see the whole thing as it is, as it was intended.
The album opens up and slowly expands with almost perfectly binaural-beat-type sounds, soothing, thought provoking, surrounding you, with a distant drum throughout, and dashes of intimate yet distorted guitar. You’ll feel like you’re being drawn out of this world and filtered into a live festival set somewhere on the other side of the universe, and you’re the only one in the crowd – it’s all for you. The combination of instruments and sounds is beautifully intense. A masterpiece, really. Drawing all of your anxieties away from you, leaving you feeling elated, and utterly calm.
I haven’t heard an instrumental album as powerful as this in a long, long time. The music tells the story, without the burden of dozens of lyrics weighing it down and clouding the concept. Although not entirely instrumental – shoegaze is the official genre – the vocals that feature seem like a unique instrument in themselves, an unreproducible thread in the artistic design.
‘Down the River’ is a gut-wrenchingly beautiful track, featuring the distant yet stunning vocals of Ummagma’s Shauna McLarnon. Alongside this, snippets of the natural world gently weave their way in and out of the music. The whole thing feels like a whisper, but with impact.
Paradigm 3 is out September 21st. With a decent amount of airplay already under it’s belt, this project is set to take over. Turn it up loud and let it soak into you.
Be sure to follow The Virgance on-line – Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp – help get his music heard far and wide, and try to catch a performance if you can – live and loud in an underground club, or even a rainy field. I’ll be there.