Debut from session guitarist and sometime Eno collaborator Abrahams...
Peter Marsh 2005
Leo Abrahams has played guitar for (among others) Ed Harcourt, Nik Kershaw, Grace Jonesand, er, Ronan Keating. More of interest to readers of these pages might be his work with Brian Eno, Peter Schwalm and David Holmes. Though touted as a 'guitar experimentalist' by his record company, Abrahams' approach is hardly radical. However, it is subtle, imaginative and sometimes intoxicatingly lovely.
This is Abraham's first solo record, and he's resisted the temptation to show off his entirearmoury of muso tricks. He's built a series of beguiling tone poems mostly from guitars and ethnic percussion that are by turns exotic, atmospheric and bucolic. Honeytrap brings to mind such diverse talents as Eno, Steve Tibbetts, Vini Reilly, Michael Rother, Dave Pajo and John Renbourn, though it doesn't really sound like any of them.
Though he's adept at twisting the sound of the guitar into any shape he likes, Abrahams is as interested in musical structure as he is in texture. Most of the pieces here would probably make sense if played solo on an acoustic guitar, which says something for the robustness of their construction. After the second or third listen, tunes like the opening "Kristian sand" or the sublime "Playground" appear like old friends.
While most of the record is intoxicatingly pretty, Abrahams never quite gets into New Age territory - you couldn't imagine this as the soundtrack in your average health food shop ("Mirror Sister" would probably act as a good earwax remover at high volume). Good job too.