Vazz – Cloud Over Maroma
The reintroduction of Vazz is one of many reasons we are grateful to Stroom. Their initiatory collection, Submerged Vessels and Other Stories / Piano Music, eased some of the trans-atlantic heartache of 2017, surveying early - recent work from the Scottish band formed by Hugh Small and Anna Howson. The project began delivering grey-sky ethereal post-punk in top-of-1980s-Glasgow and in the recent oughts sculpted doleful and elegant solo piano music from Small’s relocations, Edinburgh and Andalusia.
As in Submerged Vessels, selections from both of these periods (separated by a long hiatus from about 1987 - 2010) appear in dreamlike sequence for Cloud Over Maroma, a dedication to the mountain near Small’s current home. It begins with “Breath,” a complex and crooning 7” single from 1985, before unleashing the title track’s short but deep summon of Eno-Fripp influence. Hits of the early period, like the steely and danceable “Lost Time” and shimmering, aqueous bass-laden, flanged to heaven chantey “Cast Reflections” flow along the tides of time into recent favorite “Mezquita Part 2,” a tribute to the Great Mosque of Córdoba. Four discs cover a lot of ground, and evince the transformative power of Vazz’s music through times of personal and societal upheaval.