Virgil and Steve Howe – Nexus (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 39:56 minutes | 411 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © InsideOutMusic
“Nexus” is the collaboration between legendary Yes guitarist and recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Steve Howe and his youngest son Virgil (23 September 1975 – 11 September 2017) – who was a highly talented and multifaceted musician. From first hitting the keys of his father’s Moog synthesizer at the age of four to playing in front of 200,000 people behind the drum kit for FSOL’s Amorphous Androgynous, Virgil has a prolific output that has covered a wide range of genres from electronica to psychedelic sounds, from rock to synth and beyond. With his band Little Barrie he also was part of the score for the AMC TV series “Better Call Saul”. “Nexus” is an instrumental, cinematic record fusing wonderful keys, brilliant guitar playing, and dynamic, moody grooves.
“Nexus” is the collaborative record by Yes-guitarist Steve Howe and his son – the late great Virgil Howe who passed away suddenly on September 11, 2017 aged 41.
Steve Howe ultimately decided to continue with this release in early October and explains: “Virgil and I had only recently completed recording “Nexus”, which contains eleven of his tunes to which I added a guitar to suit each one. We delivered it to InsideOutMusic in August for release on November 17, 2017. We started to work together in 2016 by selecting about nine tunes from his ‘stockpile’ of piano based music that he’d periodically sent Jan & I each time he’d written and recorded a new idea. I began adding guitars to them, then I’d play them to Virgil. He’d then surprise me by bringing up other channels of instrumentation which I’d never heard. The tunes went from straightforward ‘duets’ to something bigger & better, more of a complete picture than a mere shape. “Free Fall” & “Nick’s Star” were added from earlier sessions, the latter being his tribute to the passing of his best friend Nick Hirsch. “Nexus” explores a completely different side of Virgil’s ability, as a writer & keyboard player – ‘in his own right’. His talents were multi-diverse, so sitting at a keyboard & computer or in the middle of his drum kit, at all his regular DJ-ing gigs or on the radio, he always gave his best. We hope that the music just completed will stand as a fitting tribute to his life and legacy.”
Work on ‘Nexus’ kicked off as piano instrumentals created by Virgil and, seeing their potential, Steve expanded these with his brilliant guitar play. Using a wide array of equipment including Mini Moog, Yamaha PSS-380, and Yamaha CS-01 keyboards as well as various guitars like Variax Sitar guitar, Steinberger 12-string, a Gibson Banjo guitar, Fender Strat & Steel guitar, a Kohno Model 10, the duo produced an entirely instrumental, cinematic, spacey and atmospheric album now released as the debut of Virgil & Steve Howe. The results are beautiful, diverse compositions varying between neoclassical elements, dreamy jazz, straight forward grooves, and trippy, otherworldy themes.
‘Nexus’ is an instrumental album that impresses with its feeling and moods while ignoring technical, “bet you can’t play that” show-offs that too often make instrumental albums a rather self-complacent, egotistic affair. No matter if enjoyed via headphones, on a home stereo system or during night drives, ‘Nexus’ is the astonishing achievement of two musicians with special father/son chemistry.
01 – Nexus
02 – Hidden Planet
03 – Leaving Aurora
04 – Nick’s Star
05 – Night Hawk
06 – Moon Rising
07 – Passing Titan
08 – Dawn Mission
09 – Astral Plane
10 – Infinite Space
11 – Freefall
Virgil Howe – keyboards, piano, synthesizer, bass, drums
Steve Howe – acoustic and electric guitars