Top critical review
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A so-so record
on 25 June 2011
I bought this based on its critical reception. I was particularly excited by the comparison made with Jon Hassell. I also felt that ECM, who had recently begun issuing vinyl again, would have been choosing their most outstanding records for release on this medium. Now, there are certainly some striking sounds here, and the trumpet sound is very interesting, but on the whole I find that the music lacks the intelligence that would bring a stronger sense of cohesion, a more memorable shape and a more evolved sense of taste. Regard my last point here, consider the final track. It's an effective, atmospheric piece which is ruined by the sudden use of a banal harmony from a choir...! There are many instances of this kind of heterogenity, but the worst is the use of spoken recitation of some rather pedestrian poetry by an English writer. For me this really does ruin the record. I can overlook the other aspects I don't like, but the only way I could listen to this again is by skipping the tracks with the poetry. And these tracks are not even so cleverly produced. For instance, in the first poetry reading the spoken language is accompanied by delay lines. Yes, you hear an echo of the line! I think the last time this wasn't a hackneyed technique was in c. 1977 in Pink Floyd's Animals.
So, to conclude: some nice sounds, some innovative playing, but lacking in strong composition and an evolved sense of aesthetic taste.
But you should buy this because the more ECM vinyl we buy the more likely they are to release more.