Tandaapushi — Borromean Rings
(Jvtlandt JVT0018, 2017, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2018-04-17
This trio features the instrumentation of drum kit, bass, electric guitar, pianet electric piano, no-input mixing board, and “amplified objects.” The liner notes are explicit about the recording process in a way that few other albums attempt: “...recorded at Nona theater, Mechelen, Belgium on november 29th 2016 Ted Masseurs did the recording he used 15 microphones and 4 DI boxes to record… he pushed the recording button 13 times for a total of 13h 17min 39s of recording 9min 21s are here on this record…” (with punctuation and capitalization copied from notes). Similar descriptions detail a second recording session which resulted in almost three hours of material, 25 minutes of which were used, for a total length of 32:30. It is also noted that “...we had fries for lunch” on one of the recording dates. The musicians involved were Léo Dupleix (pianet, mixing-board, and objects), Laurens Smet (bass, guitar — also in M(h)ysteria), and Louis Evrard (drums, guitar, drum machine), and their music is free-flowing improvisation, often with drums and bass (or guitar with octave pedal) laying down a groove while crazy noises go on and the pianet provides the occasional notes, usually fairly distorted. Only one track, “Part 2,” is longer than five minutes, but it clocks in over 15, and manages to retain interest by gradual shifting of the drum pattern and the types of distorted noise used. Other parts of the album range from very sparse noises backing aimless acoustic guitar plucks to insistent heavy riffing behind angry, fuzzy pianet. This kind of sonic experimentalism isn’t for everyone, but it’s an intriguing exploration of a distinct space full of curious noises created in unconventional ways.
Related artist(s): Tandaapushi
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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.