Exposé Online banner

Jan Bang — ...And Poppies from Kandahar
(Samadhisound sound cd ss018, 2010, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Scott Steele, Published 2011-06-01

...And Poppies from Kandahar Cover art

Sonic sculptor Jan Bang brings his formidable sampling skills to bear on this internationally star-studded disk. His large palette of extracted sounds varies dramatically from solo vocals to guitars and even orchestral samples; it just about includes anything from trumpet player Arve Henriksen’s pastel tone on “Self Inquiry” to Sidsel Andresen’s unique phrasing. David Sylvian’s credit for providing song titles indicates his presence on the recording; tone and mood are everything. The pieces hover between songs and loose ambient backdrop attributed to the composer’s delicate hand. Loops and experiments are represented well on tracks like “The Midwife’s Dilemma,” which carries an unsettling sampled vocal. It also features a precious rhythm track, sounding a bit like classic Eno using some of John Oswald’s Plunderphonics approach. Moods can shift imperceptibly, as heard on the Arabic-tinged “Passport Control,” with both trumpeters Jon Hassell and Henriksen as well as guitarist Eivind Aarset. The ambient textures spread across the disk impart smoky atmospherics, slight tension and mystery. This is apparent on songs such as “Heidegger's Silence” and on “Abdication and Coronation,” where trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær renders a serene melody line in front of a waltz-like bass line. Clearly this is high order improvisation and composition where the boundary between both is purposefully blurred. Highly recommended for fans of David Sylvian, ambient Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel’s Passion soundtrack, Jon Hassell’s last ECM recording, and the burgeoning Norwegian jazz scene.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2010 releases

Related artist(s): Jon Hassell, Jan Bang

Latest news

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ptarmigan - Ptarmigan – Well, here’s a lost gem from a bygone era! Ptarmigan was a relatively short-lived Canadian acoustic group. The core of the band consisted of singer and recorder player Glen Dias and twelve-string...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues