Exposé Online banner

Pixel — We Are All Small Pixels
(Cuneiform Rune 372, 2013, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-11-11

We Are All Small Pixels Cover art

This Norwegian quartet truly has a magical sound unlike anyone else out there right now, and this, their newest release just begs for repeat listens. With a powerful string bass presence, a beautiful voice, and seven of the eleven compositions to her credit, Ellen Andrea Wang commands the operation with a lean, jazzy, and somewhat chamber-esque vibe that’s immediately accessible, intensely melodic, and just blasts warmth and brilliance out from your speakers. While drummer / percussionist Jon Audun Baar has just the right element of support for every piece here – he even penned “Sigma,” one of the album’s most busy and magnificent instrumental workouts – it’s the front line of Harald Lassen (saxes) and Jonas Vemoy (trumpet) that really give Pixel much of its character, either when working together to create fundamental chords (sometimes with Wang’s vocalizing as well, as on closer “Time”), or blowing some splendid solos. The lack of a single chordal instrument anywhere in the lineup (no guitar or keys here anywhere), gives the proceedings a bit of chamber character at times, and a sort of ‘little big-band’ quality at other junctures, but it’s Wang’s vocals and lyrics that give all those cuts featuring her voice an immediate and undeniable approachability. And one would be remiss not to mention one very special cut “Easter Song,” penned by Lassen; even though it’s barely over a minute long, it’s a beautiful textural workout with sax providing an energized backdrop motif for some stunning harmonizing between voice and trumpet. Play that one again! All said, compared to their previous disc Reminder from last year, the group seems to be more comfortable within their sound this time out, and more inclined toward using their most valuable asset – Wang’s voice. I can’t give this one a high enough recommendation.


Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Pixel, Ellen Andrea Wang

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 Santana, 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...

Henry Cow - Western Culture – By the time they got to 1978 and the recording of Western Culture, Henry Cow were in the process of breaking apart. Fortunately for us, they saw the project through to its completion, for it is full...  (2002) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues