Lars Bech Pilgaards Slowburn: Freiheit (2013)
How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
The sophomore release of Danish guitarist Lars bech Pilgaards Slowburn quartet (following Mammut, Mom Eat Dad Records, 2012) blends his diverse and often conflicting tastes for alternative, art rock, punk and no wave, raw sounds and free- form improvisation. Pilgaard is assisted by the same attentive musicians that played on the quartet debutrenowned bassist Thommy Andersson, member of Pierre Dorge's New Jungle Orchestra, clarinetist Lars Greve, member of the quintet Girls in Airports and drummer Thomas Eiler, his collaborator in the avant-punk outfit SVIN.
The metallic, raw sound of Pilgaard's guitar is still dominant but now his sonic palette is more profound and subtle, even fragile at times, searching for new, exotic sounds and colors such as Middle-Eastern quarter-tones. He leads the quartet through different forms, moving from the intense and dense outburst of "Træls"}} to the lyrical "Ultraviolet" and "Venner" (in both of it's variations), with beautiful bass clarinet and clarinet solos of Greve, the structured, art song "Sortebær," the gentle, moving "Gjellerodde" to the enigmatic, cinematic "Orient." "Sonic," the longest and most powerful piece here, features the quartet building the tension patiently, till the intense, noisy eruptive coda.
The interplay of the quartet is organic through all these diverse modes and moods. Pilgard enjoys the wise, articulate support of Greve who now has a much more crucial role in the sound of the quartet than on its debut. Andersson and Eiler are inventive and imaginative colorists, anchoring the free-form sonic excursions with loose frameworks. All solidifying the mature, nuanced and colorful sound of the quartet.
Impressive and highly engaging.
Track Listing: Træls; Ultraviolet; Venner 1; Sortebær; Gjellerodde; Orient; Kinder;
Venner 2; Sonics.
Personnel: Lars Bech Pilgaard: guitar; Thommy Andersson: double bass; Thomas Eiler:
drums; Lars Greve: clarinet, bass clarinet.
Record Label: Mom Eat Dad Records