Exotica Song Of The Month: January 2012





Another Fine Day
Cutting Branches





London-based Tom Green‘s project Another Fine Day is usually filed away under the Electronic genres of Ambient, Dub and possibly New Age, the latter genre giving me the creeps all too often. So did I displace his song Cutting Branches and shall rather put it into the Ambient section? Well, I could do it, but it wouldn‘t feel right to me as this song has a very exotic feel to it due to the use of real instruments and the sophisticated arrangement of this original piece. That's why I‘m taking the opportunity to present a kalimba song to the lover of Exotica music that he or she would have probably missed otherwise. And no, it's not that Tom Green you may think of.


Cutting Branches is the third of 9 songs off Green‘s album Salvage, and if you ever needed a wonderfully carefree song while watching a sunset (hey, the Exotica genre is all about clichés, okay?), this would be one of your top choices, believe me! The song features a harmonica or an accordion, I‘m not too sure about that, but anyway, the instrument is used to great effect here, fading in and out all the time. Real kalimbas are added and are the track's skeleton, as they can be heard throughout the song. And finally, a tweaked electronic square lead preset is used to mimic a flute. The song is quickly paced but is nonetheless laidback. Interestingly enough, the rhythm is quite complex but never too intrusive or overly cunning which is often the case in Electronic releases. The song captures a tremendously positive vibe (look at Green's project name – nomen est omen) and if I needed to pinpoint the ethnical roots of it, I would class it among a South African/Cape Town feel. And since the kalimba is a thumb piano of African origin, I am probably not too far off with my assumption.


I‘m familiar with Another Fine Day‘s whole discography, and I keep coming back to this song time and again, for its qualities are plainly visible: while Green's 1994 album Life Before Land is considered by his fanbase as the better one conceptually, that album also is much more electronic and Ambient altogether. But later on, Green approached this project from a communal point of view, inviting musicians to aid him with their instruments. As a result, they amplified the New Age feel of his later releases but also fledged his compositions from a musical standpoint. Though diehard Exotica listeners might disagree with my choice – fair enough! –, I really think you should give this track a chance and listen to it yourself. It contains all the ingredients of modern Exotica songs minus the electronic square lead, and is skillfully fit together and hence elicits … another fine day. Available on all digital download stores and on CD.




Exotica Song Of The Month Review for January 2012: Another Fine Day – Cutting Branches (2000). Originally published on Jan. 2, 2012 at AmbientExotica.com.