1. original image that was used for the CD cover. It shows a building site near Old Street and Goswell Road in the City of London

    original image that was used for the CD cover. It shows a building site near Old Street and Goswell Road in the City of London

  2. Halma Bravo - It Will Never Break Us (by Himmelschrei)

  3. In 2007 I wrote: Halma Bravo was formed in 2006 in Queens Park, London. It is primarily a musical vehicle for Simon Aeschbacher, a painter, who lives and works in London. Halma Bravo’s first album is called A Long Way Down. It’s a pop album. It contains gorgeous melodies and simple, sad and sometimes sinister lyrics. Simon says: “I make minimalist pop. I make sweet and slightly quirky music with a few bangs and crashes.”

    “I don’t think I want to find the perfect pop song. I just stumble. I’m definitely lo-fi, do-it-yourself, mainly for my own amusement. I like gentle stuff. I like pop music as a journey through the valleys and across the peaks of an artist’s own private landscape. In the case at hand this means songs about winter in a kitchen, about memories of blossoming feelings, about someone buried alive, about a false smile on a television screen. All is very beautiful and smart.”

    Other people expressed their ideas about the music, mostly on Myspace: different and adventurous - arranged to perfection - cool & cute - gentle and off-beat -  charming and sincere - sounds like nothing I’ve ever heard before and at the same time like an old friend - just can’t get enough of these gentle and complex songs -  haven’t heard him harmonizing with himself so sweetly and gracefully before - an album unpretentiously adult in its lyrics - brilliant but the complete opposite of grand - there’s the feeling of something small, something personal, very smart musically and lyrically. All is very beautiful and smart.

    In a promotional text for mx3.ch - Halma Bravo was the most played band on 02.07.2007 thanks to heavy rotation at the Queens Park New Media Centre - I felt compelled to write a promotional piece: “Maverick Simon Aeschbacher, who as Parzeller in the 90’s didn’t harm anybody’s hair, has taken up the musical thread again after a lengthy break and is releasing A Long Way Down, his first album as Halma Bravo. 12 minimally contorted, electronically organic, poetically succinct pop songs and an epilogue. Proof exists: English air can give you a new lease of life!”

    About the future I said in 2007: two more albums are in the pipeline and nearly finished. No live performances are planned. Simon writes and records largely in his own back room. The open road scares him. - As a matter of fact another four albums followed before Halma Bravo was laid to rest five years later in Kilburn, London. The debut album as it came out in 2007 on CD and what is now up on bandcamp are not quite the same thing. A Long Way Down has been remixed and remixed and in the process has shed some weight, about the equivalent of 10 minutes. 

  4. Listen/purchase: tales from magazines by Halma Bravo

  5. The most enthusiastic and in-depth comment came from performance artist Monica Salvi. On 03.09.08 she wrote about A Long Way Down:

    The CD starts with a wonderful intro leading up to Something Between Us. The music keeps flowing into unexpected melodies, and when the singing starts it’s a very satisfying feeling. A Long Way Down is much more hermetic and obscure than A Warm Welcome. The lyrics are intriguing, it’s not always easy to get their full meaning, I guess that was intentional. As was that weird ending to the CD!

    I think I’ve already told you, Glad You’re There is my favourite song. Is this really a pigeon speaking? It’s the most enchanting thing I’ve ever heard! I can hear the smile in your voice. - I love the lyrics to Nobody Waits That Long, its sea-related metaphors, the emotional journey in the “Signs” part. The sound stirs up contrasting feelings with a strange but beautiful melody that ends abruptly. - I love the arrangement on It Will Never Break Us, especially when that eerie little instrument comes in at 1:43. I wish it would go on longer!

    I would like to compliment you on the fact that all your songs are very different. How many times do you hear songs by a composer and they seem instantly recognizable in tune or rhythmical pattern. The songs on A Long Way Down are all unique and often contain internal changes as if a song harbours another one. Most of your music should be on a movie soundtrack. The evocative nature makes my mind roam through a puzzling array of images and situations.

    P.S., my cat too seems to like your music very much!