2022 / Jim Ottaway
Review by Kathy Parsons
Somewhere In-Between is a collection of eleven of Jim Ottaway's electronic compositions that focus on "that special place in-between heaven and earth... a place of love and timelessness... a place of intrigue and uncertainty... a place of promise and the future." The tracks on this album were chosen from many hours of recorded music Jim has stored in his music vaults - some that were composed and recorded as early as 2008. As he was producing the album, Jim created additional recordings for all of the selected tracks, completing the project in April 2022. He refers to Somewhere In-Between as a continuation of some of his more recent electronic albums, including When Eternity Touches Time (2020) and Timeless e-Motion (2017), both of which were awarded Best Electronic Album at the Zone Music Reporter Awards for their respective years. Many of Jim's other albums have won and been nominated for an impressive list of international awards, and I would expect nothing less for Somewhere In-Between.
Jim composes and records all of his music in his home studio, which is located in the foothills of Springbrook Mountain on the Gold Coast of Australia. With diverse musical influences that include Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, Pink Floyd, and Enigma, the inspiration for Jim's music is his love for nature and his spiritual connection to the beauty of the Gold Coast. A lot of electronic music can feel kind of cold and aloof, but Jim's recordings have a warmth and emotional expression that many artists don't convey with their music.
Somewhere In-Between begins with "Dawn of Time," a mysterious piece that juxtaposes a quickly-flowing rhythm with smoothly undulating string sounds. Relaxed with an underlying sense of urgency, it's an intriguing start! "A Dream Within Reach" is much lighter and more carefree, expressing the joy of seeing a dream realized. "One True Vision" takes on a more ethereal feeling as it floats through time and space, becoming more rhythmic and exciting as it unfolds. "Chosen Place" is driven by a strong beat that keeps the other, lighter, instrumentation moving forward. I really like this one! "Fire Of Truth" expresses feelings of triumph and celebration - not aggressive triumphs like sports or military wins, but those feelings of elation when truth is found and prevails. As its title suggests, "Lost World" is much darker and more intense but isn't without hope. Choral voices, a driving beat, and a variety of electronic sounds give this piece the feeling of the soundtrack for a very powerful movie. The title track beautifully illustrates the description of "Somewhere In-Between" mentioned in the first sentence of this review - a special place that encompasses so much of what makes life an unfolding adventure. The first half of "Shores Of Eternity" is more ambient and atmospheric than melodic or rhythmic and effectively expresses the vastness of space and/or time. In addition to the synths, a woman's voice softens the effects of that vastness and makes it feel more tangible and welcoming. It's a beautiful and uplifting close to a great album!
Somewhere In-Between is available from Jim Ottaway's site, Amazon, Apple Music/ iTunes and many streaming sites including Spotify. Great stuff!!!
June 27, 2022