Reviews

Read the Review
Plaster

Read the Review
Hyness

Read the Review
Black Suit Devil

Read the Review
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan

Read the Review
The Pack A.D.

Read the Review
Chad VanGaalen

Read the Review
Potengowski Anna Friederike

Read the Review
Todd Rundgren

Read the Review
Old 97's

Read the Review
Needles//Pins

Read the Review
Ohama

Read the Review
Nicolas Horvath

Read the Review
Hugo Wolf Quartet

Read the Review
Heat

Read the Review
Parallels

Read the Review
Monica Chapman

Read the Review
Alexis Baro & Pueblo Nuevo Jazz Project

Read the Review
Jenny Wren and Her Borrowed Wings

Share |


Cover Art

Who Cares How Long You Sink ( )

Folk Forms Evaporate Big Sky
Sundmagi ( )
Warm orchestral tones over a plodding bass section are the first thing to greet you upon listening to Jason Ajemian's Folk Forms Evaporate Big Sky under his Who Cares How Long You Sink moniker. Along with this warm orchestral texture and pleasantly plodding bassline you are also greeted or perhaps "introduced to" Ajemian's vocal stylings. Half spoken, mostly atonal flailings are the flavour of choice here and for many listeners this will be the deciding factor as to whether the album sinks or floats. Comprised of five pieces as played by over 30 musicians, Folk Forms Evaporate Big Sky resembles a long collage of slow moving sound as opposed to five distinctly individual tracks. This is not to say that every piece sounds identical; there is a definite increase in tension towards the middle of the disc, but throughout the album transitions between songs are nearly seamless in terms of their textural dynamics. This fluidity makes sense considering Ajemian composed these five pieces as a focus on the natural breath patterns of the musicians involved. A technique of this nature is especially effective on brass and consequently the saxophone is the dominant instrument here, giving the pieces a welcome tropical or equatorial atmosphere as opposed to the colder textures of many ambient musical forms. In complete contrast to the soft beauty of the instrumentation is voice of Ajemian. Where the brass, strings, and mallet instruments float in graceful cloud forms, the vocals act as half-awake, piercing, drunken stabs reminiscent of what might emerge from the mouth of one having a bad dream of some sort. Discernible lyrics such as "another time, another place" from first track "Leaves Rainbow" or "never let you down" from "The Fear They Give" emerge every so often, but primarily the voice acts as an instrument; out of tune, confused and lost within its larger environment of sound. Only a few times on Folk Forms Evaporate Big Sky does the vocal trigger an immediate reaction from the instrumentation. In these cases (the last yelp on "Like Organic Life", or the aforementioned "never let you down" bass/vocal interplay on "The Fear They Give") a fragility of the human character is brought out from its usual position within the textural space and is given the spotlight front and center. As Who Cares How Long You Sink is such a large collective with a loose compositional style half-rooted in improvisation, it will be interesting to see where they go from here. Folk Forms Evaporate Big Sky is an amazingly beautiful album plagued only by the jarring and distracting vocal stylings of composer Ajemian. Whether he continues ahead with this aesthetic of juxtaposition between voice and instrumentation or brings the two elements into a more cohesive relationship is his decision. Let's hope he chooses the beauty of the big sky over the yelps of his folk form.

By Bruno Mazzotta
Jul 27, 2007

[reviews home] [list reviews]
 
comments powered by Disqus

More Reviews By Bruno Mazzotta

Cover ArtRiad Abdel-Gawad
El Tarab El Aseel
(Urbnet)
Sep 19, 2007
Cover ArtThe Bad Beers
Zombies From Beyond The Surf
(One Two Three Four)
Aug 31, 2007
Cover ArtThe Disraelis
Demonstration
(Optical Sound)
Feb 2, 2009
Cover ArtThe Golden Arm Trio
Tick-Tock Club
(Shamrock)
Jan 5, 2008
Cover ArtThe Hoa Hoa's
Sonic Bloom
(Optical Sounds)
Jun 30, 2009
header bottom