“Nexus” was to be the first connection between father and son. Steve Howe on guitars and his son Virgil Howe on everything else. Sadly, the younger Howe’s death on September 11, 2017 turned this album into his epitaph. The bond between them is clear through out the album. They speak the same musical language and while this is further away from Steve’s past releases on his own and with Yes, he blends perfectly with his son’s more ambient and electronic leanings.
There are some tracks that are more acoustic and others that feature Virgil’s passion for electronic music. But those moments never take over any of the tracks. Instead, they are more like sprinkles atop a musical cupcake. It’s miles away from Virgil’s DJing and remixing. The songs are all piano based tracks that Virgil wrote and send to his father to add guitar too. It wasn’t until after Steve added his guitar that Virgil revealed the remaining instrumentation for each track. It turns out to be a process that worked perfectly. The album is a treasure trove of atmospheric beauty.
The album starts with the beautiful title track which is a lovely acoustic duo. “Hidden Planet” still has an acoustic base to it but has synths and electronic percussion, coupled with Steve’s guitar work. The lush “Leaving Aurora” showcases Virgil’s piano work as does “Nick’s Star” which is a tribute to a friend of Virgil’s who passed away. It becomes even more poignant with Virgil’s passing. “Dawn Mission” is another stellar track.
“Nexus” is an incredible tribute to the talent of Virgil Howe. Sadly it makes you want to hear more like this from him and that’s no longer possible. It is a sad listen if you think of it in those terms but consider the joy that went into creating this album and you’ll hear it in another light. My condolences to the entire Howe family. Rest in peace, Virgil Howe.
2. Hidden Planet
3. Leaving Aurora
4. Nick’s Star
5. Night Hawk
6. Moon Rising
7. Passing Titan
8. Dawn Mission
9. Astral Plane
10. Infinite Space
Label: Inside Out Music
Release Date: 17 November, 2017