We Like We & Jacob Kirkegaard - Time Is Local - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

We Like We & Jacob Kirkegaard - Time Is Local

by Jeff Penczak Rating:7 Release Date:2019-09-27
We Like We & Jacob Kirkegaard - Time Is Local
We Like We & Jacob Kirkegaard - Time Is Local

The Danish experimental quartet’s third album is excerpted from a 12-hour live sound installation performance with sound sculpturist Kirkegaard at Copenhagen’s Thorvaldsen Museum as part of the 2017 G ((o)) ng Tomorrow festival. Violinist Katrine Grarup Elbo, cellist Josefine Opsahl, percussionist Sara Nigard Rosendal, vocalist Katinka Fogh Vindelev and Kirkegaard spent the day wandering through the museum’s rooms and corridors, stopping at each of the 12 chambers for an impromptu performance. The album collects 12 fragments from these performances, which gel into a surprisingly coherent whole. Each chamber elicits its own tone and sonic ambience, which is enhanced by the performers’ unique interaction with their surroundings.

     Most of the tracks are named after Greek gods/characters, and each tone poem reflects the artists’ mood as they enter the particular sculpture’s chamber. From the eerie, haunting opener ‘Amor & Psyche’ which feels like a siren beckoning sailors to their doom to the hesitant pluckings and wind-tunnel atmospherics of ‘Charis’, it is obvious that the best way to experience this collection is on your portable digital device while recreating their path through the museum. It’s always difficult to appreciate the artists’ intention when you are applying an audio creation to a visual medium. It’s like listening to a musical from the lobby – you can hear the sounds, but half the experience is inside the theatre.

     But that should not dispel you from investigating this enthralling collection of sonic burst, noises, and atmospheric recreations of the ambience that a room gives off to those who pass through. ‘Hylas’, for example, is a near-ear-shattering experience a la Donald Sutherland’s warbling throat emanations in the Invasion Of The Body Snatchers’ remake, while ‘Nemesis’ emits the electronic hum of a life-support machine interspersed with Vindelev’s train whistle vocalization for an unsettling, night-alone-in-a-haunted-house vibe. Again, probably a “had to be there” moment, but still pretty spooky from this distance.

     ‘Jupiter’ is more avant garde-ish catgut scrapings that fail to register, ‘Ganymede & Zeus’ is the most cinematic piece, not too far removed from some of Badalamenti's’ work for David Lynch or Morricone’s soundtracks for Sergio Leone, and closer 'Clotho' may be the most accessible track, with its soothing bells and warm, fuzzy cooing vocals making for a soft and sedating landing.

     Fans of the Radiophonic Workshop, the Conet Project, Scotland’s Bearsuit Records, and the OHM: Early Gurus of Electronic Music set may have an advantage over the casual listener in succumbing to this challenging work’s charms, but anyone interested in non-linear, non-structured experimental artists like Susannah Wallumrød, et. al. will be equally enthralled.

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