The fifth album by the Danish crossover band Girls In Airports was recorded during three live shows in Germany in April 2017. The audience applause (and cheering) is included at the conclusion of some tracks. The album opens with "Kantine" a slow-burner which inexorably builds tension and gravitas, releasing a crescendo of energy midway and ultimately returning to its stately beginnings, all the time dominated by the two horns, frequently playing in unison.
"Kaikoura" the title track of the group's third album released in 2013, is atmospherically folk-like and imbued with a delicate sax-led melody. The twin reeds on "Broken Stones" elicit a mesmeric riff underpinned by a constant rhythmic pulse. Also gleaned from Kaikoura are the ruminative "Albert Kahn" and "King's Birthday." Other revisited tracks are "Fables" and "Aeiki" (another satisfying tension-and-release builder), both taken from the band's fourth 2015 album Fables.
The merged percussive, electronic and horn-rich sounds of "ADAC" (a dual allusion to the rock band AC/DC and ADAC, the German motoring organization) are as near as this record gets to unalloyed heaviness. By contrast, the deceptively raucous opening to "Need A Light," from the group's second album Migration, rapidly evolves into languid tranquillity, almost, at times, coming to a standstill.
Adequately describing the Girls In Airports sound is tricky. The music is a melange of ambient and rock beats fused with jazz lyricism. Perhaps it's a mixture of say, King Crimson's more pastoral interludes, early-ish instrumental Pink Floyd and maybe a soupçon of Eno's soundscapes plus some dark drone-like saxophone à la Donny McCaslin as heard on David Bowie's Blackstar. Any way you cut it, this is an intriguing and memorable set.
Kantine; Kaikoura; Broken Stones; Fables; Episodes; Aeiki; Albert Kahn; ADAC;
Need A Light; Migration; King’s Birthday; Vejviser.
Martin Stender: saxophones; Lars Greve: saxophones, clarinets; Mathias Holm:
keyboards; Victor Dybbroe: percussion; Mads Forsby: drums.
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