Exposé Online banner

Akku Quintet — Stages of Sleep
(Morpheus MORPH001, 2013, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-04-07

Stages of Sleep Cover artOne would think that an album titled Stages of Sleep would almost have to be some kind of floating ambient music. Not the case here. Akku Quintet is a Swiss based jazz ensemble led by Sonar drummer and percussionist Manuel Pasquinelli, who also composes all the group’s material. The approach is gentle, beginning with a “Lullaby” and moving on to several cuts titled “Falling Asleep” and the two part “Light Sleep” where masterful piano and Fender Rhodes passages (played by Maja Nydegger) with explorative saxes and guitars (Thierry Luthy and Markus Ischer respectively) rule the moment as they wander through almost minimalist landscapes of repetitive figures, occasionally raving up into some moments of wild improvisation. The program moves onward though two stages of “Deep Sleep” where odd effects and distortions punctuate repeating melodic patterns, while Pasquinelli’s precise drumming and some musings by electric bassist Jeremiah Keller drive the moment; sax, guitar and Rhodes find a gentle groove to follow through. The “Passing into Deep Sleep 2” is essentially where the bass goes solo and slows the pace down, eventually joined by some gentle guitar and sax explorations in more or less free form melodic territory. The pace picks up again with “Deep Sleep 2” with new guitar and sax figures over the rhythm and a backdrop of shifting organ chords. The gentle transition into “REM Sleep” goes nearly unnoticed, other than the gradual ascendance of shifting meters and trippy groove changes via guitars and sax that signify the onset of dreams, followed by a percussion solo that leads the listener back to the final track “Waking Up.” All of the nine pieces connect together, forming one long seamless continuum. And yes, one can sleep to this, tested by yours truly on a couple occasions, but it’s an excellent vehicle for de-stressing during waking hours also, and a solid good listen any time of day or night.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Akku Quintet

Latest news

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Magma - "Les Voix" - Concert 1992 Douarnenez – Magma's Christian Vander has decided to follow in the footsteps of Frank Zappa, Andy Latimer, and others in an effort to fight the bootleggers, and has started his own record label AKT to release...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues