The music of Part Timer has a rare kind of stillness and beauty, an ambient pastoral folk that evokes sunshine glistening through dew on a cold winters morning. His music is the antidote to bluster, an opportunity to step away from the noise and freneticism of daily life and sink into a world of stately simplicity. It moves along like a gentle exhale of breath, a lush, sublime, shimmering beauty, evolving slowly, the gentle strumming of guitar, low organ drones, melodica, glockenspiel, ukulele or tin whistles, all flowing together like a hushed whisper designed solely for your ears. Then there’s these understated electronic flourishes that skitter around the edges, an earthy organic form of digitalia that occasionally provides a certain textural density to the tunes, like a frequency beamed in from afar.
Part Timer is the alias of John McCaffrey, a Northern Englander now based in Melbourne Australia. He’s amassed a slew of releases for UK’s Moteer & Mobeer label, Under the Spire, and Japan’s Flau respectively, whilst also releasing two albums of electronica in his duo Clickits with Jonny Russell. Yet Real to Reel is an unmistakable progression in his craft. Recorded over the last few years it’s less beat orientated than it’s predecessors, a suite of loose rustling electro organic soundscapes, over which the likes of Nicola Hodgkinson from Leeds three piece Empress, Melbourne songstress Heidi Elva (who also contributes harp), and John’s wife Danielle intone gracefully. In fact there’s a greater balance of vocal to instrumental pieces than ever before. He also enlists extraordinary Kansas based artist Aaron Martin who contributes mournful cello, providing additional gravity to McCaffrey’s introspective musings.
Ultimately Real to Reel is music for waiting, for opening up time and creating space, allowing the listener to enjoy each delicate gesture, each subtle movement. It’s gorgeous drifting music, thirteen mesmerizing pieces that offer a gentle emotion laden respite from the bustle and bluster of daily life.