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Saturday, December 10, 2022

Angles - A Muted Reality (Clean Feed, 2022)

By Stef Gijssels

Here is the Angles discography so far, with the links to the reviews we wrote over the years. We're fourteen years after their first album, and the magic is still there. The line-up may have slightly changed, but not the music. The numbers behind the band names obviously refers to the number of musicians.

Angles - Every Woman Is A Tree (2008)
Angles - Epileptical West (Live In Coimbra) ‎(2010)
Angles 8 - By Way Of Deception (Live In Ljubljana) (2012)
Angles 9 - In Our Midst (2013)
Angles 9 - Injuries (2014)
Angles 9 - Equality & Death / Pacemaker (2017)
Angles 9 - Disappeared Behind The Sun (2017)
Angles 3 – Parede (2018)
Angles 10/Angles 9 - Today Is Better Than Tomorrow (2019)
Angles 9 - Beyond Us (2019)

From the very first album, the comments from our readers were as enthusiastic as the reviewers's appreciation, and that has not changed over the years, despite the fact that we are now familiar with the band's approach and style. The themes are grand and infectious, varying between the slow, sad and deeply moving marching band of the title track, over the more expansive and exuberant grandiose and compelling power of "The Hidden Balcony", to the brilliant third track, "Fkk Down, Fkk Off", which takes a step away from their typical sound to a more swing jazz big band extravaganza, with steady rhythm and theme, around which the soloists play their improvisations, yet it has the unpolished, raw, sometimes chaotic nature we so much like, moving forward like a big ship relentlessly steering through a major storm. Even if not all solos are technically recorded at the right level, it is a minor thing in the totality of the music. 

The band consists of Magnus Broo on trumpet, Goran Kajfes on  trumpet, Maestro soundsystem for woodwinds pedal, Johan Berthling on double bass, Konrad Agnas on drums, Mats Äleklint on trombone, sousaphone, Mattias Ståhl on vibraphone, Alexander Zethson on piano, Juno 106, and Martin Küchen on alto saxofone. 

As mentioned previously, this is music that is close to the "people", that is made to touch emotions at a very basic level of shared sadness and joy, music that wants to reach out to others to join, music that builds a community, that reflects the sorrow of the joy of people in the street. And it does so brilliantly.

Küchen's compositional power and arrangements are still at the same high level after all these years. 


Listen and download from Bandcamp

Listen to the title song: