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I Thought It Was Us But It Was All Of Us

2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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I Thought It Was Us But It Was All Of Us
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Audio CD, 13 May 2013
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Product details

  • Audio CD (13 May 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Constellation
  • ASIN: B00BTHR1T6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 246,419 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product description

Saltland is the new project led by Montreal-based cellist Rebecca Foon, best known as a founding member of contemporary chamber group Esmerine and a former member of Thee Silver Mt. Zion and Set Fire To Flames. Foon began composing solo work in 2010, featuring multi-layered cello and hushed vocals at the intersection of drone, no-wave, improv, dream-pop and minimalism. Joined by Jamie Thompson (Unicorns, Esmerine) on miniature percussion, programming and signal processing, Foon's live performances in Montreal and abroad over the past two years have seen her sound progress towards gently rhythmic and electronic territory as well. She has transfixed audiences with this new music while sharing the stage with Mary Margaret O'Hara, Julia Kent, Nat Baldwin and Sam Amidon, among others. As her largely homerecorded debut album began taking shape throughout 2011, with numerous guests contributing to various pieces, Foon adopted the Saltland moniker for this work. I Thought It Was Us But It Was All Of Us is a beautifully restrained debut album that telescopes the directness and economy of Foon's compositional and vocal styles into lush, twilight atmospheres aglow with luminescent tendrils and flickering particles. Foon sings of childhood innocence lost, of tender utopic reveries and downcast dystopic horizons, and the search for soft, stoic strength in a darkening, devolving world. Foon s voice is discreet but defined, drifting on buoyant currents of sound sourced from her plucked and bowed cello lines, in most cases propelled by Thompson's bespoke percussion and understated programming/processing, with touches of guitar, bass, horns, woodwinds, strings and backing vocals added by a cast of supporting players. The record unfurls like a gauzy flag in a restless breeze at dusk: a delicate, resolute sentinel set against the fading light. The album's ambience also owes much to the work of Mark Lawson, the awardwinning engineer (Arcade Fire) who collaborated closely with Foon to record and mix these songs at Six Saint V, her apartment studio in Montreal. Lawson, along with friend and percussionist Thompson, helped to forge a balance between lo-fi intimacy and shimmering breadth with these recordings, remaining faithful to the all-anologue instrumentation of the source material while judiciously deploying signal processing strategies to subtly refract, saturate and expand the sonic landscape. With contributions from Laurel Sprengelmeyer and Jess Robertson (Little Scream), Mishka Stein (Patrick Watson), Colin Stetson (Bon Iver), Sarah Neufeld and Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire) among others, Saltland offers up an unassumingly immersive debut album of searching songs that blend several core influences into a distinctively naturalistic sound. Saltland stakes out an unaffected, meditative, clear-eyed and earnest space where minimalism, dream-pop, drone, shoegaze, confessional folk, modern chamber and ambient/electronic coexist and coalesce.

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Format: Vinyl
...needs a bit more spice

I bought this album because of good reviews in music magazines and because of the intriguing artwork of the sleeve of the vinyl version.

OK, so building on relatively simply musical ideas can result in stunningly beautiful music. This is what Philip Glass or Steve Reich are all about. It forms the basis of much of what is disparagingly called Krautrock, too. Fuer Immer from Neu 2 is Exhibit A, here. A very basic musical idea but Dinger and Rother transform it into an organic, pulsating 11-minute masterpiece.

Why do all of these pieces "work"? I think it's because of the rhythm which propels each of these pieces forward - a perpetuum mobile groove thang. Of course simple ideas endlessly repeated don't have to have a rigidly motorik rhythmic momentum - listen to the heartbreakingly beautiful "Small Hours" from John Martyn on his five-star "One World" album.

Which brings us to Saltland, The tracks are based on very simple musical ideas, as they unfold layers of sound are added sequentially using a mixture of acoustic, electronic and virtual instruments, some with vocals and some not. But there is none of the rhythmic momentum that should sustain this approach. Nor is their is the limpid beauty of the Small Hours alternative. It all sounds so uninspiring and unoriginal. There are loop libraries that come with your DAW or can be purchased from third party providers which with tweaking could be used to make tracks like this. Coupled with the muddy sound of the mix on m 180g vinyl, this makes this album hard to recommend.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars salt or gold the exchange rate is stable 26 Mar. 2014
By A. A. Jager - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
this music was born in the mist that weaves around the forest and squeezes through the cracked rear wall of amazon.
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