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

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Mother Gong - The Best of Mother Gong – I suppose there's a large segment of the record-buying public (not many Exposé readers among them) for whom the concept of The Best of Mother Gong would be a strange one: that there should...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues