Jaguwar — Ringthing
(Tapete TR378, 2018, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2017-11-24
Jaguwar is the Berlin trio of Lemmy Fischer, Oyèmi Noize, and Chris Krenkel, who play energetic shimmering shoe-gazer updated New Wave. So far they’ve released two EPs and played live dates in the UK, Denmark, France, Serbia, and Germany. In 2016 they contacted Tapete Records asking to open for The Telescopes, which immediately caught Tapete’s interest. So earlier this year Jaguwar entered the studio and recorded their first full length album, Ringthing. The result is a set of ten thunderous and dreamy tracks built from multiple layers of sound, reminding quite frequently of Echo and the Bunnymen and a less electronic New Order. Most of the tracks have an 80s vibe to them and some would also qualify as dance tunes. From time to time Jaguwar introduces experimental elements like reversed tapes and vocoded vocals. Most of the songs are propelled by Chris’ rapid fire drumming. One of the songs that stands out for me is the trippy “Gone,” with acoustic guitar, bass, electric guitar, sedate drumming, and beautiful female vocals. Another standout track is “Away,” with a reversed tape intro and images of a happy upbeat Julee Cruise Twin Peaks style song. For most of the songs, you have to concentrate to understand the lyrics, instead I just let everything wash over me to enjoy the experience. The only instrumental is the closing track, “End,” that is a sustained chord with odd electronic sounds circling around. Ringthing is an excellent debut album and one can only hope to hear more from Jaguwar in the near future.
Related artist(s): Jaguwar
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From the press release:
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water takes from Echo Us' past and spins it into a whole new direction, one closer to traditional acoustic Celtic music than ever before.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water was composed and recorded during the first few months of 2017. Although Celtic influenced and comprised of a number of re-workings of Irish folk tunes and Breton aires, the album is still in large part new and original Echo Us music that fits right in the Echo Us ‘canon’. “Wake” is a natural progression from “A Priori Memoriae”, which was released to critical acclaim in Europe in 2014.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is Echo Us’ ‘Celtic’ album that was planned for a long time but never executed because of the work on the trilogy that came before it. The album title is a typical ‘Echo Us’ play on words which one can find their own meaning.
“It is also both evocative of the Oregon rain, which I am told is not too unlike the rain in Ireland.”(Matthews)
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is also a comment on conception- which was unintentional when the lyric was written. Matthews surprised himself a few months after writing it, realizing that the song was actually about the nitty gritty, biological workings of what happens when a child is conceived. The folk song it derives from musically describes a courting ritual, one that even today we can all relate to in our own way.
“Come With Me Over the Mountain" in acapella was the musical inspiration for the song, and came into my consciousness after the lyrics were written a few months prior. “ (Matthews)
As with all Echo Us recordings, a number of seeming coincidences resulted in connections being drawn where prior there were none. Another experience of similar capacity was found in oboe samples from A Priori Memoriae that echoed the traditional “May Morning Dew’, also reworked for guitar on the new album.