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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Mokuto - Dressed Like A Horse (Ninth World Music, 2009) ****½

Madness and esthetics, humor and beauty, seldom go together well in music, often the one goes at the expense of the other, but not so with this band. Their music is beyond description. There are laughs and crazy vocalizations, sometimes chattering of musical instruments like monkeys in trees, birds in the jungle, maybe pigs, possibly horses, sometimes incomprehensible and a seemingly pointless scattering of notes that never really evolve into phrases. The band, Mokuto, consists of three great Danish musicians, Lotte Anker on saxophone, Peter Ole Jørgensen on drums and Peter Friis Nielsen on bass, occasionally performing as a quartet, and here, as on their previous release in the company of trumpet-player Herb Robertson. The astonishing fact of this album, is that out of the absurdity of it all, out of the weirdness and otherworldliness, a sensitive beauty emerges, almost organically, naturally, ... and while the lead instruments are responsible for most of that fragile beauty, it is Nielsen's bass that creates the most distinct sound, creating little percolating sounds on his bass, giving it a solid backbone and drive without falling into any fixed rhythmic pattern. And the same holds true for Jørgensen's percussion: it's crisp and fresh and unpredictable, it emphasizes and accentuates and creates depth, and it drives the music forward, yet without there being any distinct beat. I had listened to their previously released "Message For The Errand Boy", an album that did not strike as worth reviewing, yet I went back to it and I must review my opinion. Very unusual and very rewarding beautiful music, for those with open ears and open minds.

Listen and download from eMusic.

© stef