Food duo: Thomas Stronen, Iain Ballamy with Christian Fennesz - This Is Not A Miracle (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Artist: Food duo: Thomas Strønen, Iain Ballamy with Christian Fennesz
Title: This Is Not A Miracle
Genre: Jazz, Modern Jazz, Electronic, Experimental
Label: © ECM Records GmbH | ECM Player
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Recorded: June 2013 at Holand Sound, Oslo
The British/Norwegian Food duo of Iain Ballamy and Thomas Strønen are joined again by Austrian guitarist and electronics player Christian Fennesz for a new album of powerful grooves, evocative textures and exploratory improvisation, sometimes hypnotically insistent, sometimes turbulent. The project was recorded with engineer Ulf Holand and mixed together with Manfred Eicher – the first time Eicher and Holand have collaborated since Nils Petter Molvaer’s Khmer, almost 20 years ago. Thomas Strønen describes the sound of This Is Not A Miracle as “heavier, dryer, connecting more with how we actually sound live.”
British/Norwegian experimental jazz group Food have done something a little different with each album, especially since downsizing from a quartet to the duo of Iain Ballamy and Thomas Stronen (plus guests). For this one they are joined again by Austrian guitarist and electronics player Christian Fennesz—but Strønen has taken the lead. He explains "With Food, it's democracy all the way, as far as Iain and I are concerned, but with this record I had the time and the will and the idea to do more on my own." So the group recorded using his sketches as their guide, and he then radically recast the recorded material.
It's a clear departure from the previous album Mercurial Balm (ECM, 2012) which included additional guests Eivind Aarset, Prakash Sontakke & Nils Petter Molvaer. That release was built around live performance recordings, yet Strønen paradoxically describes this one as "heavier, dryer, connecting more with how we actually sound live." While there is still plenty of Food's characteristic atmospherics, the approach is more rhythmic and percussive— tending almost towards electronica.
Another departure is Strønen's credit as sole composer, in a project that has typically given collective credits. In fact he is also the album's producer: ECM head Manfred Eicher was involved in the mixing and mastering. However edited their playing was, the other players still made significant contributions. Fennesz's atmospheric guitar dominates the opening "First Sorrow." Ballamy's saxophone is first heard on the title track, but it is built around his melody, making the lack of writing credit seem a bit odd. The same is true of several other selections (e.g. "The Concept Of Density," "Sinking Gardens Of Babylon," and "Exposed To Frost").
"Where Dry Desert Ends" features a repeated synthesizer figure that would not be out of place on a Tangerine Dream record, definitely more pop-sounding than usual. But the longest track, "Earthly Carriage" is built around a hypnotic loop. "The Grain Mill" employs a catchy melody that sounds like it's being played on a celeste, over rumbling guitar. The closing "Without The Laws" fittingly combines all of the elements: percussion, big guitar chords and searching saxophone. --Mark Sullivan, All About Jazz
1. First Sorrow 03:05
2. Where Dry Desert Ends 04:18
3. This Is Not a Miracle 04:08
4. The Concept of Density 02:55
5. Sinking Gardens of Babylon 04:22
6. Death of Niger 03:43
7. Exposed to Frost 03:27
8. Earthly Carriage 06:55
9. Age of Innocence 04:27
10. The Grain Mill 04:59
11. Without the Laws 05:07
Iain Ballamy: saxophones, electronics
Thomas Strønen: composer, drums, electronics, percussion, Moog, Fender Rhodes
Christian Fennesz: guitar, electronics
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