Genre: Ambient, Electronic, Drone
Label: Secret Furry Hole
Fast forward a few months and Scott is releasing Nivalis (Latin for "covered in snow"), a short, sixteen-minute release created while he was (what else?) snowed in for a couple of days. The piece was created extemporaneously; as the snow fell, Scott continued adding to the pieces, mixing the results as the hours passed and chucking in some field recordings of the event as well. In many ways that mirror Wixel's year long project from last year: it gives us the opportunity to peak into the life of an artist during a delineated amount of time.
On some level it's difficult to be critical of the work because it's so obviously created as an experiment and was not a planned musical moment. But, then again, it is being released for public consumption, so all's fair game, right? What is good about the track is that it's mostly unassuming. Scott does a good job with the production and everything has a impromptu air to it. It's kind of strange hearing an ambient track that's been improvised, but, hey, it's not so bad. What it lacks is almost everything that made me interested in Navigare: subtlety, brevity, purpose, and heart. Since the track was created as the snow raged outside, it's not difficult to find the moments when Scott becomes bored with the project, apparently stunned that the snow is still falling, and returns to his instruments to mash out a few more minutes. It's a nontrivial glimpse into the world of a musician, trapped in this studio for two days, but not something that needs to be tracked down for those who aren't completists.
It's safe to say that Simon Scott has finally kicked the bug that's been following him around since his Slowdive days and can finally step out into the world as a new musician. Navigare is a strong debut, and Nivalis is a welcome experimental release. Scott's on his way to an exciting second career as a solo musician, and something tells me that his best work is ahead of him yet.