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4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Lope and Antilope
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Audio CD, 3 Jun 2016
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Product details

  • Audio CD (3 Jun. 2016)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Republic of Music
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 108,800 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Formed in 2000 to share a fascination with the improvisation and monophonic nature of Ornette Coleman's earlier works, the Bristol-based four-piece can now boast a truly international fan base and the last two years have seen them take their cellophane masks half way round the world and back (it was the rhythm of movement and travel experienced on the road that gave way to the new album and inspired the title). Throughout this time, the line-up has remained the same with Portishead rhythm masters Jim Barr and Clive Deamer on bass and drums respectively, Pete Judge on trumpet and Jake McMurchie on saxophone. And all this despite other commitments for everyone, not least Deamer's recruitment as Radiohead's second live drummer in 2012. The band's old friend and collaborator - and Portishead guitarist - Adrian Utley also returns to make a guest appearance with Bat for Lashes guitarist Tim Allen brought in to engineer the recording sessions. The use of guitar effects pedals and other electronic gizmos had become a big part of what the band do live, but until now had never been fully integrated into the recording process. As well as extensive use of delay by the horns, the rockiest track on the album, 'Little Ease' also features the trumpet routed through a distortion pedal, bought for a song on the way to the first day of recording (it also features on 'Trope'). The saxophone is treated in a similar way, producing the Theremin-like pitch bends that can be heard on 'Quiet'. This could lead you to think that Lope & Antilope is an effects heavy, raucous album, but in fact the opposite would be more accurate. Lope & Antilope is more textured than previous work, shifting from the atmospheric ambience of 'Luposcope' to the pulsing, almost Nordic menace of 'Viking Death Moped' - but all the way through maintaining the trademark bass riffs that carry the album through giving it that quintessential Get The Blessing Sound.

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By Bruce TOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 Jan. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have mixed feelings on listening to this album as I really liked the first five tracks and found the sounds interesting and the grooves enjoyable. The band are all about the rhythm section of bass and drums with each track being driven by bass grooves that while in some cases are repetitive, never become boring. Guitar also adds texture and variety, while Sax and Trumpet provide melodic improvised solos, sometimes adding riffs to the grooves.

This is on a Jazz label and gets lumped in with Jazz, presumably because this is instrumental music with no vocals - but the core of the band come from Portishead and many of the tunes are atmospheric and beat-driven, reminding you more of modern bands like Mogwai,Sigur Ros etc. than anybody working on the Jazz scene. There are no Jazz licks and no Jazz harmonies - in fact most of the tracks are about lines rather than chords. Of course this has been part of Jazz as well, with artists like Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler and Lee Konitz dispensing with chords. However this doesn't sound like it's coming from Jazz, although some of the trumpet/flugel solos would fit in that world.

My reservations start around "Viking Death Moped", which is quite funny as an idea and has a nice riff - but from this moment, the band seem to get more involved with effects than actual music and the album seems to lose confidence and peter out. Subsequent tracks seem to focus on distorted effects and have little of the inspiration that suffused the first half of the album. Overall I would have given a top recommendation for the first half of this album, which is original, interesting and highly enjoyable - but I feel I have to temper this with reservations about some of the later tracks and the over-use of distortion - which some may like, but for me, detracted from the music.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love it, but it finishes all too soon, just when I am settling in to the flow of the music. Portished meets King Crimson.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 17 Feb. 2015
By John Dubosh - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 8 Oct. 2015
By B. Tysinger - Published on
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Fantastic album, fantastic pressing. I'm very excited to get other vinyl releases from Naim, as this is high quality.
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