There is nothing whatsoever pop about this record, nothing remotely rock. No grinning fools on the cover, no DJ endorsements. None of that. There is just a forbidding, uncertainly pronounced name (do you ask for G-nac or Nyac in the shop?) and an air of independence – from contemporary musical mores, from (cringe) [I]fun [/I]- warning you that this is anything but Radio 1 priority tuned stuff.
This is, inescapably, [I]music[/I]. Chamber music, possibly: taut strings and dusty harpsichords and perky xylophones and sad keys, dusted with enough post-rock plinks, plonks and percussion to reassure you it’s not 1602. Unlike Americans Rachel‘s – who’ve pioneered the post-rock classical thing for much of the decade – though, there is no real air of heavy grandeur about Mancunian Mark Tranmer‘s little instrumental creations. Tracks like ‘Continental Balcony Twilight’ and ‘Plink’ quiver with frail melancholy, twanging heartstrings with stately grace. Yet Gnac‘s tunes are skimpy things; bereft of the bombast and pretension that hover around the word ‘classical’ like a cloud of flies. Moreover, his song titles betray a lightness of touch; there’s even one called ‘Ice Cream Van’, and you already know how the main xylophone theme goes. Sweet dreams, indeed.