Exposé Online banner

Yonder Pond — Pondering Aloud
((Not on label) No cat #, 2017, LP + SP)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-08-02

Pondering Aloud Cover art

Yonder Pond is the recording project of Swiss drummer and multi-instrumentalist Rémy Sträuli, who first came to the attention of Exposé with his band Yolk back in the 2003 timeframe. In issue #29 we reviewed five of their albums. Pondering Aloud is the first recording to come out of this project, an eight-song LP plus a two-track single packaged together, and like too many others these days, there are no plans for a CD release, but the entire ten songs can be downloaded at the Yonder Pond Bandcamp site. This is almost a total solo project, though Sträuli uses three names to identify the members of the fictitious trio: Emyr Taurelis is the vocalist, formerly of the Jolly Satanists, Rembrandt van der Straal on piano and keyboards, was supposedly born at the Apple rooftop concert on January 30th, 1969 at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, and lastly, female drummer Remily Layne, formerly of beat-prog legends Blutti Moose. All three are in fact Sträuli, playing drums, percussion, keyboards, and singing. There are several real guest musicians contributing, including Stef Strittmatter handling all guitars and sitars, Pascal Grünenfelder on bass, Markus Strauss on flute, and Beat Luthi on backing vocals, track depending. The album (along with the single) presents a concept that is detailed in “the story” on the back of the LP, which is fairly simple and straightforward and not to be taken too seriously. Most of Sträuli’s songwriting influences seem to come from that magical time of the late-60s Beatles and many other psychedelic and proto-prog bands that came in their wake, most notably Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd, as well as his post-Floyd solo work, and perhaps Kevin Ayers as well, with plenty of early 70s progressive rock apparent in the arrangements throughout. Opener “Time Flies” pretty much has it all, and serves as a calling card for what is to come. One of the finest three minutes on the LP has to be “Aviary Lament” where the Barrett influence is heard clearly in the vocal refrain. The A side of the single presents the catchy and melodically colorful “Who Do They Think They Are,” but it’s the single’s B side “The Mope” that presents one of the most memorable tunes of the entire set, a true masterpiece of songcraft and arrangement, where flute and piano carry the main melody and solos, with bass and guitar adding support. Pondering Aloud is a winner, beginning to end, and will especially appeal to listeners with a sensitivity for the classic era that it seems to have come from.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Rémy Sträuli / Yonder Pond

More info
http://yonderpond.bandcamp.com

Latest news

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Peter Frohmader - Cycle of Eternity – They say the first impression is the one that lasts, and so it is here with the latest album by German electronic master Peter Frohmader: the album opens with the twelve minute "Spiral,” a majestic...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues