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Darryl Way: Ultra Violins

Album Review

The ex-Curved Air man’s first solo album for over 20 years.

Violin virtuoso Way was one of the founder members of Curved Air back in 1969, and while he left the band just a few years later to pursue other projects he has returned to their ‘fluid’ line-up several times over the ensuing decades.

His career’s been a fascinating and prestigious one, and the first album under his own name since ‘99’s Under The Soft attests to his undiminished talents on the fiddle. 

Ultra Violins is a collection of his interpretation of nine classical tracks, Way playing with synthesised orchestra to pieces such as Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances, Saint-Saëns’ Danse Macabre, Franck’s Panis Angelicus and Faure’s Pie Jesu. The musician’s own new composition Tarantelle is as romantic as it is technically ferocious, and closing the set is a glossy new version of Vivaldi, which first appeared on the Air’s 1970 debut Airconditioning and stopped many shows since. 

In the video interview here Way is erudite and entertaining as he explains his choice of material, all of which is swathed in reverb and synth action sure to annoy the classical cognoscenti. For the rest of us it is – to push the Clockwork Orange pun further – gorgeousness and gorgeousity made music.

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