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Steve Jansen: Slope (2008)

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Steve Jansen: Slope How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Steve Jansen takes a new leap of faith by plunging into global jazztronica. This amazing musician, drummer and producer has been dwelling on the cutting edge of contemporary music for 25 years, venturing into many musical styles, without ever a dull moment or definitive sound.

Now, blending different strands of music on Slope, Jansen has made an eclectic foray into disciplines that miraculously come together. His reserved but wide-ranging tracks wend their way through—but never dwell on—blip-hop, jazz, spacey loops, amorphous soundscapes and other styles.

Jansen's first record for Samadhi Sound, Slope certainly offers unique and groovy electronic music with a creative mix of sounds that encompass almost every imaginable mood. Each of its 12 tracks originate in tiny flecks of noise, clicks, and pulses of pure sine tones. They're arranged with surgical precision into short slices of art-techno. The music is funky in a cerebral, molecular sort of way. It's immersive, and becomes almost lush and strangely beautiful by the end.

Jansen's "research-and-development-style" approach to music is one of the record's strongest, most unusual elements. Every sound is tweaked and treated, chopped and wrapped in powerful sonic textures with quirky timbres. The further on the the journey, the richer the textures become.

Those concerned with the future of sound—or interested in challenging modern music composition—will welcome Jansen's latest, brilliant voyage into the unknown.

Track Listing: Grip; Sleepyard; Cancelled Pieces; December Train; Sow the Salt; Gap of Cloud; Playground Martyrs; A Way Of Disappearing; Ballad of a Deadman; Conversation Over; Life Moves On; Playground Martyrs (reprise).

Personnel: Theo Travis: flute, clarinet, saxophone, loops; David Sylvian: vocals, guitars; Joan Wasser: vocals, violin; Steve Jansen: guitar, guitars, piano, Fender Rhodes piano, synthesizer, drums, percussion, electronic percussion, programming, sampler; Thomas Feiner: vocals, mandolin, vibraphone, sampler; Nina Kinert, Alberto Tafuri: piano; Anja Garbarek: vocals; Ingo Frenzel, Tim Elsenburg: vocals, guitar, Fender Rhodes piano.

Record Label: SamadhiSound

Style: Electronica


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