When you are coming across a band which contains two guitarists and the bass clarinet player then you already know that something unusual is happening there. How many times did you find one like that? My answer would be: none. It takes some unusual blend of personalities to happen and this is exactly what we are finding here.
Music which they are presenting is very intimate and immersive. It is not an easy one too and very multi-layered. Listening to this one might think it might be half sketched, half improvised too, as I cannot imagine myself it to be fully scored and always played in exactly the same order. The reason I am saying that is because it is too imaginative, too inviting to enforce some invention. I was listening to it for long before I started to write about it and I remember how it grew on me, how it changed my perception, the more I became familiar with the tunes.
Sonic wise there is a lot of history of the music those youngsters had grown on: From Contemporary classics of the 20th century like Reich, Parch, Bryars through Psychedelic Rock Avantgarde, ala King Crimson or Sigur Ros, to Skúli Sverrisson , Nils Petter Molvær, Christian Fennesz or Arve Henriksen. An impressive list of the unique artistic personalities from the past and present.
It starts with a very melancholic tune And After…, with chord progression bringing Sting to my mind, but it is just a loose thought. It doesn’t reassemble anything in particular and the function of the instruments is so different too. When both guitarists are creating sort of tapestry, the clarinet walks on that gently, with a rich woody tone and sophisticated articulation.
Going to Waterlines, we are crossing the doors like Taxidomoon, for example. Fabian Willmann clarinet there reminds me of Steven Browns world, with its philosophical and theatrical to some degree phrases. Additionally, the soundstage coming from mutual effort of both looped guitars is gothic and dark, but at the same time tender and holding the feeling of the veiled lyricism.
The deeper into the forest the better. It would make no sense to go through the titles here unless someone is expecting me to analyse the arrangements. This is music which breaths, and it gets to you by the mood it holds. Splitting it apart makes no sense to me as my instincts keep telling me that this is not the way it had been composed,
It is all about the intimate communication here. I can’t not see the concept of order it had been recorded with. When I was listening to the tracks in random order, something I often do is verify if the tension is real or if it’s just me. Here it does not matter to me. What happens, is getting into the trance. Once you are there your imagination follows neither the electronic guitars landscape or the clarinettist’s lines. Those sometime are purely descriptive, like a renaissance motif repeated in choral, jumpy intervals, with irregular pace, hence the Jump makes a good title.
Other times, like in Marmuration, the cold brushes of the reed or strings keep flattering your mind stone cold. The way the tension is build and momentum kept, shows the maturity of the band members, which is deeply surprising, given their young age, and related to that – shortage of the life experience, particularly creative suffering which is always vastly responsible for emotional abilities. Nether the less without trying to find a depth of expression there is still a lot to enjoy on the surface and according to my own freshly gained experience that is a good start. Now in phase two, I am starting to submerge and the feeling of wetness on my skin and air travelling up on my face is both, calming and healing.
Love that record, hungry to hear a debut one before and awaiting future ones to come.