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

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ozone Player - E – Ozone Player is an electronic project created by Otso Pakarinen, but a real oddball one that doesn’t fit into any of the schools of electronic music. It’s not heavily sequenced,...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues