Weathering the Storm by Craig Padilla & Marvin Allen

Release date: February 17, 2023
Label: Spotted Peccary Music

How did this slip past me during the Christmas holiday? Understand, I’ve been busy listening to a lot of music that perks my ears when it comes to finding the true nature on how you write, compose, arrange, and bringing everything to the kitchen table on where it stands. And believe me, it takes courage and a huge amount of balls to take you on this surreal journey that awaits you.

For Craig Padilla and Marvin Allen, it is a dosage of sliced mango-pineapple strawberyy juice, waiting to serve you by Weathering the Storm. Released on the Spotted Peccary label, this is the duo’s third collaboration for ambient maestro Craig Padilla and guitarist Marvin Allen. The first time they worked together was in 2019’s Toward the Horizon, followed by 2021’s Strange Gravity, and last year with their third album, it has all of the ingredients of krautrock and electronic music in all of its glory.

Listening to this album, it puts you right in the middle of a heavy storm, waiting for you by tackling the vibrations of Fripp and Eno, Klaus Schulze, Vangelis, Edgar Froese, and Popol Vuh. Tracks like ‘Sunflowers in the Wind’ is the calm after the storm which features some sun-lifting orientation done by Padilla as the listener sees the first glimpses of the sun, coming over the horizon to start a brand-new day, waiting for you.

The two-parter segment on ‘A Matter of Time’, it sounds like a session the duo had done two scores for the video games, Ori and the Will of the Wisps and Unravel. It has some poignant structures of going through the passages of time. Knowing that they cannot change the past.

 

It is what it is. We learn from our mistakes when we were young. Once we reach adulthood, you learn from your errors, and knowing that its time to look into the future and not fixing what its broken. The heavy rain-fall and bubbling effects that are used in the ‘Aquatic’ sort of reminded me of a combination between early Floyd and Sigur Rós’ Ágætis byrjun.

The mournful organ and clean-texture guitar tones which have a spaghetti-western approach, sends signals across the entire globe on what’s happening to our planet before the 15-minute Schulze-like homage on the opening track ‘The Prodigal Sun’ becomes this action-packed scene, straight out of William Friedkin’s unsung 1977 classic, Sorcerer (based on the 1953 French film by Clouzot, The Wages of Fear).

Allen lends in these brutal, heavier, and menacing overtones on his guitar by setting up these land mines, the truckers had to go through these dirt roads, and dangerous activity that awaits them. The segment becomes this ticking time-bomb as Allen reaches for the higher climax to get listeners in their seat, and wait until the very end for what’s about to happen.

‘Onwards and Upwards’ is where I see the duo using orchestral strings for the background, setting their tip of the hat to the Irrlicht years for the first four minutes of the piece before changing into a Stomu Yamash’ta composition that was later used in the 1976 sci-fi cult classic, The Man Who Fell to Earth starring David Bowie and Candy Clark.

Weathering the Storm took me a while to get into, but I can definitely the see the love, the passion, the source, and the true honesty Craig and Marvin have brought forth into their love of the genre. While I’m new to the duo’s sound, I was completely hypnotised on the way they took their vibrations up to a higher level, and proving themselves, they can make their music soar into the heavenly sky.

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