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Leucocyte - e.s.t. [VINYL]

Price: £21.55 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Leucocyte - e.s.t. [VINYL] + Live in Hamburg - e.s.t. [VINYL] + 301 - e.s.t. [Esbjorn Svensson Trio]
Price For All Three: £69.97

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Product Features

  • Ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging

Product details

  • Vinyl (1 Dec. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ACT
  • ASIN: B001J66R38
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,187 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By john Hall-Freeman on 28 April 2014
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
I'm sorry that I missed this fantastic group live unfortunately for me they played in my home town at the Arts Festival of Perth Australia after playing here they went on to record this and 301 in Sydney and I had not a clue who they were , now I cant stop playing all of their cds.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Aural attack 10 Oct. 2008
By David J. Ohanlon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
To all current EST fans - if news of Svensson's death wasn't hard enough to take, the music on this album is what you might call "tough love".
To any of you just curious about EST, this is probably not the album to start your collection as, on the whole, it is neither typical nor representative.
Why? Well, EST's usual melodic acoustic lyricism is on some tracks embellished, on others supplanted & on yet others overwhelmed by electronic effects (occasionally quite distorted). These effects are particularly to the fore on two lengthy tracks one of which "Premonition - Earth" (17min & which also features a relentless brutal back beat for the last 5mins) works amazingly well while the other "Leucocyte - Ad Mortem" (13min) sees the effects take over & grate a little too much for the first half of the piece only to give way to a slightly unsettling "calm" over the second half.
Yet it all begins innocently enough with "Decade", but at only 1min 17" we're quickly thrown into the maelstrom of the rest of the album. This said, the next track "Premonition-Earth" is, if you can stick with it, one of the most amazing pieces of music you'll ever hear. Starting with a pulsing Berglund bass riff (which continues virtually right throughout) joined at increasingly frequent intervals by Svensson's spare prepared piano which gradually takes over the first half of the piece itself, you'll find your whole pysche being infiltrated and captured! Svensson's playing is masterful, as ever, and then, about 6min in you almost suddenly become aware of the percussion. As the piano & drums become more strident the intensity rises & the electronic effects (which never overwhelm this piece) become less noticeable until around 12mins Ostrom starts this rapid-fire drum beat which literally "attacks" your ears & if THAT's not enough to make you think about heading for the skip button, the electronic effects become more noticeable too. But, oh my gosh, what a sensory experience if you can last the distance!
The follow-up track "Premonition - Contorted" is not as angular as the title suggests & is a beautiful, haunting re-vision of the previous piece with subtle electronic effects embellishing deep bass grooves & more spare piano. Indeed it is fair to say that these two companion pieces are the cornerstone(s) of the album for the rest of the tracks, whilst still good, don't quite come up to such a high standard.
"Jazz", after a fierce electronic opening, is a reasonable, up tempo, almost "standard fare" piano jazz trio piece with the bass & drums pushed to the background. "Still" is a slow, moody piece which is virtually all ambient electro effects.
The title suite begins with "Ab Initio" which features initially a rapid bass "attack" & then piano, bass & voice ALL distorted quickly followed by crashing drums & cymbals. The distortion is unerring & brutal & runs for all but the last 30 seconds of this 9 min track! Therefore, alas, it is neither easy listening nor one of my favourites.
"Ab Interim" is basically 1min of near-perfect silence & whilst I have largely described "Ad Mortem" already above if you DO make it into the second half be prepared for a gorgeous last 2 mins where the piece is largely taken over by a wonderful chime-like effect on the piano which carries on into the closer "Ad Infinitum".
Overall, an EST experience like never before (yet still distinctly EST). This disc is, in the main, haunting, moody, disturbing & muscular &, as stated at the outset, perhaps too effects-dominated for some. This said, I think that most of the disc (& the two "Premonition" pieces especially) is well worth your money & your listening effort.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Feels like the music was dissolved and reconstituted 25 Feb. 2009
By loce_the_wizard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I find that reviewing the music of E.S.T. makes me want to unleash superlatives--the "-est" adjective forms, fittingly--and not all of them positive by any means. "Leucocyte" caps off a grand run of recordings by this trio, but I wish there were more to come.

This CD is a hard one to embrace even while admiring the skill required to pull off this live in studio recording. The late Esbjörn Svensson show his mastery of grand piano and his fascination with electronics; Dan Berglund spends a great deal of the recording coaxing sounds from his double bass that remind me some of the music from Kubrick's film version of 2001 A Space Odyssey; interestingly, I think Magnus Öström is the standout on this recording as at times his drums and percussion are the only thing keeping it grounded, though the extensive set of staccato drumming in parts of Premonition would not invite repeated listening.

The music picks up on some of the more experimental and expressionist directions from earlier E.S.T. recordings and ramps up those elements, pushing harmony and structure to the background. The whole effect feels like the music was dissolved and reconstituted in some form that has the features of music, but not necessarily arranged in the manner to which we are accustomed. I've heard the term soundscapes associated with these "songs" but maybe that is too passive a depiction. I'd opt for soundquakes.

I can appreciate what E.S.T. has accomplished with "Leucocyte" but I will never quite warm up to these free improvisations but I will always have this nagging sense of wondering what might have been next had Mr. Svensson not died.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A new path to a thrilling destination 23 Jan. 2009
By Anthony Cooper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I wasn't too familiar with Esbjörn Svensson until his untimely 2008 death. "Leucocyte" is a good indication of what I was missing, and a sad indication of what we'll miss in the future. Many of E.S.T.'s discs start with a quiet song, and "Decade" is a short quiet one. Then, the disc really gets going with "Premonition:Earth". The most important sections of the CD are the two-part Premonition and the four-part "Leucocyte" suites. "Premonition:Earth" combines the piano trio with some glitchy (but musical) electronic sounds. Towards the end, the snare hits of Magnus Öström start duelling with electronic-drum-kit-sounding snare hits. It's very intense, and very good. "Premonition:Contorted" backs off the intensity, but is still good. "Jazz" is, per the title, the jazziest song on the disc. "Still" and "Ajar" seem like throwaway songs to me. The "Leucocyte" suite is also intense, though not as showily. "Leucocyte: Ad Interim" is simply 60 seconds of silence.

The overall effect is (to compare to young American groups) like The Bad Plus meets Chicago Underground Duo. E.S.T. isn't the first group to combine jazz and electronics this way, but they put their own twist on it, and they play it very well. You can hear the beginning of this sound on 2006's "Tuesday Wonderland". Since this CD is so good, it's a shame they won't be able to continue down this path. This ranks as one of the better 2008 discs, and is at the higher-end of 4-star discs. "Still" and "Ajar" keep it from being a through-and-through classic.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
E.S.T. Reinvents itself with mixed bag of electronica rock and jazz 18 Oct. 2008
By Scott Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD

In Leucocyte E.S.T. reinvents itself by pushing farther into electronica, rock, and ambient noise than it has ever ventured before. At times some of the tracks border on heavy metal and at other times they sound like something from an ambient noise CD. The influences of fellow Rune Gramofon artists such as ambient noise/jazz/rock outfit Supersilent are unmistakable. The end result is a somewhat uneven album. There are highs where they are on fire, and there are some moments when you will wonder what were they thinking. If inconsistency is the type of thing that bothers you, then you will likely disagree with my 5 star rating. There is one track of complete silence, and another track that rambles on with gurgling electronic effects. However, these shortcomings are more than made up for with some of the epic soundscapes and rocking explorations. E.S.T. pushes the envelope with this CD, took some chances, and created something interesting and new. For anyone whose a fan the their song "Black Water", this is a must have album.

Song Highlights:
Premonition: I. Earth - Opens with Dan Berglund bass line with light percussion and occasional chords in the background. The piano gradually builds up into a killer Svensson solo. The pressure and momentum continues to build and build until at the end there is a machine gun fire sounding drum line and everyone is rocking out.

Leucocyte I. Ab Initio - This is a romping fusion of jazz and hard rock/heavy metal. It is very reminiscent of E.S.T.'s "Black Water". Berglund rocks out on the electric distorted bass, Svensson plays some dark piano lines & chords, and Ostrum pounds away on the drums.

Jazz - This song opens with some electronic effects, but quickly segues into a tradional jazz piano trio song. After the intro it sounds like something you might have heard on E.S.T. Live '95.

Still - This song will make you think of Supersilent. It is an ambient noise piece with a floating bass line, sporadic electronics, and some acoustic piano over the top.

This CD is a mixed bag. Some E.S.T. fans are going to love this, and some are going to hate it. Anyone into Supersilent, Arve Hendrickson, etc. should definitely check this out.
Out With A Bang 27 Dec. 2008
By Kurt Harding - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Earlier this year, I was saddened to read that Esbjorn Svensson, one of the most innovative keyboardists in modern jazz, had drowned. It was only in the last several years that I have really gotten into his trio and I eagerly looked forward to every release. Now it appears that Leucocyte will be the final one unless the remaining members dig up some unreleased out-takes or even some fully realized compositions that somehow never made the cut. With the release of Leucocyte, Svensson's trio goes out with a bang.
Some reviewers have found this a little too avant-garde and experimental for their tastes. E.S.T. has experimented previously with ambient background noises to augment the core of the music. On Leucocyte, they take this experimentation to a new level! Listen to this in the dark, and you will begin to imagine that some funny things are going on in your house. At one point, I thought I heard my tea-kettle whistling until I realized that I hadn't put the water on yet!
Though the music may take some getting used to for those who expected a reprise of past E.S.T. outings, several listens without other distractions should eventually bring most of those folks around to appreciate what a fine piece of work this is overall. My favorites by far are Premonition (dig the machine gun intensity of Magnus Ostrom's percussion!) and Jazz. If you want something slower and more peaceful, Still offers nearly ten minutes worth of meditative relaxation. Leucocyte, the sprawling four part composition that closes the album, has its ups and downs but forces the listener to hear E.S.T. in a whole new and often discordant light.
Leucocyte is not my favorite E.S.T. release, but its certainly one I will play with some regularity. Listen to it with an open mind and see if you don't come to enjoy it as I have. Now let's have those out-takes and the other half of this session alluded to in another review!
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