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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I Heart Lung - Interoceans (Asthmatic Kitty, 2008) ****

I Heart Lung is a strange band, creating music with a strong personal vision, and which is extremely hard to pigeonhole. After the excellent Between Them A Forest Grew, Chris Schlarb (guitars) and Tom Steck (drums) continue further explorations in their mixture of rock, electronics, jazz and even some folk elements. This is mostly slow meditative mood music, but of a high level. The original sounds and music were totally improvised and recorded during a two day session, but then post-produced for over three years, which is not exactly characteristic of jazz, where immediacy and direct performance reign. The music is pleasant to the ear, consisting of drone-like waves of sound, and the second track, "Interoceans II (Overturning)" with Nels Cline on guitar and sitar, and Kris Tiner on trumpet is a real beauty of carefully crafted soundscapes. Other guest musicians include Lynn Johnston on clarinet and bass clarinet, Andrew Pompey on percussion, Anthony Shadduck on bass and Aaron Xim brings field recordings. On the last track "Interoceans III (Outspreading)", tension increases with very conflicting sounds : harsh guitars and electronics interwoven with slow trumpet playing, ambient sounds with hard-hitting percussion, leading to near-silence with the horns playing a wonderful duet, but as you can expect, this is the calm before the storm, as the tune explodes into layers and layers of wailing guitars and hypnotic tribal drumming.

The art work by Tom Steck is - as on the previous albums - superb.

The CD will be available on September 23.

© stef