Luke Buda: Vesuvius
By Rhys Morgan
It's hard to ignore the cover of this album which is both a joy to behold and slightly disturbing. I think it sums up Mr Buda rather well, warning us visually of what is a weird and at times brilliant solo 'concept' album. 'Vesuvius' is a delightful and emotional journey through the ventricles of Buda's huge pumping heart, which brings the listener music freshly-oxygenated enough to become intoxicated by. Press-ganging some usual suspects such as Will Ricketts on percussion, Craig Terris on drums/vocals and Tom Watson on guitar, the extensive album line up also includes most of The Phoenix Foundation and extra vocals from Kezia Hinchey and Sophie Burberry. The sound is decidedly sanded and polished somewhere between the '70s and early '80s and blessed with the engineering talents of Lee Prebble and mastering by Mike Gibson. Whatever Mr Buda was striving for with this release, the smooth production, odd album design and intimate display of musicality is thoroughly enjoyable. If he really was some kind of exotic robed hero from another universe, you just might want him to succeed in his mission to cross the keyboard staircase cum iceberg to lecture the polar bears in adapting to climate change and how to shoot laser bolts out of their eyes.