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Thursday, January 22, 2015

We Like We - A New Age of Sensibility (The Being Music, 2014) **** ½

By Eyal Hareuveni

The debut of the all-female Danish-Copenhagen-based chamber quartet We Like We refuses to surrender to any conventional musical boundaries. The four musicians - vocalist Katinka Fogh Vindelev, violinist Katrine Graup Elbo, percussionist Sara Rosendal and cellist Josephine Opshal - are all classically trained but seek to expand and explore much wider sonic horizons. This democratic collective refers to American minimalism - the early operatic experiences of Philip Glass, the vocal ensemble of Meredith Monk  and the highly-disciplined, minimalist rhythmic modules of Steve Reich. In adding celestial vocal arrangements inspired by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt and spicing it up with subtle layers of electronics that alter and enhance the instrumental vocabulary, the group excels in the open, versatile process of sound-oriented free improvisations. The intense, often very emotional, approach of the quartet is much closer to an art-rock bands rather than to any jazz-based outfit.

The album, a new Age of Sensibility, was produced in collaboration with sound artist Jacob Kirkegaard, and is released by the label of alternative singer-songwriter Jomi Massage (aka Signe Høirup Wille-Jørgensen), dedicated to women art.

The eleven compositions revolve around a loose dramatic narrative that contemplates failed expectations from a loved other and finding one’s individual voice, literally, through short, poetic texts and the suggestive vocals of Vindelev, even when she recites wordless syllables.  The a-capella “Wakey Wakey Beast” distills such approach when monotonous, repeated vocal articulations similar to the ones introduced in Glass and Robert Wilson opera, Einstein on the Beach, to a heartbreaking realization of a failed love. Later, on “The Sound of My Voice”, Vindelev haunting, fragile delivery is gently embraced by fellow musicians as she sings: “What am i supposed to give? / I only follow the sound of my own voice”, reaching the inevitable painful conclusion on “Separation” and “I Began to Fall Apart”.  This moving understanding is followed by the poignant, meditative “Tišina” that suggests new bright colors and delicate vibrations for the new found sensibility. Soon followed by “Unite Me”. the romantic anticipation for a peaceful, quiet relationship: “Unite with me / All is loud until / you /unite with me”.

Beautiful and haunting work of art.

Visit We Like We's Soundcloud page for more...


Anonymous said...

Mark said...
thanks for bringing this to my attention. On the back of the review and clip I've just ordered what promises to be a very interesting LP

Matthew Grigg said...

Agreed, thanks for the review.