Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

7

Jan Bang: Narrative from the Subtropics

Nenad Georgievski By

Sign in to view read count
Years ago, renowned film director Derek Jarman filmed a daring film called Blue where the viewers could only see a blue screen behind which the sounds from the scenes could be heard but not seen. This way, the viewers imagined the film based on the dialogues and the sound they heard, and placed their own images onto the blue screen. In a similar manner, renowned producer Jan Bang makes music with a strong cinematic flair that functions as a soundtrack for an imaginary film. As best seen on his debut ...and poppies from Kandahar (Samadhi Sound, 2011) or his own productions, Bang's compositional thinking is cinematic, utilizing jump-cuts, fade-ins and fade outs to create a flow of imaginary scenes and sonic images. His music could broadly be classified as ambient, experimental or electro-acoustic chamber music. These descriptions may give an idea of what his music might sound like, but that won't reveal what the music feels like.

On Narrative from the Subtropics he weaves a sequestered accompaniment that draws on a number of sources and influences in order to achieve its kaleidoscopic and otherworldly sounds and moods. Picturesque and evocative by nature, his sonic palette is incredibly broad throughout: it consists entirely of ambient drifts, sculpted fragments and contributions by a plethora of guests like singer David Sylvian, guitarists Eivind Aarset and Stian Westerhus, pianist Tigran Hamasyan, keyboardist Erik Honore and many others. The pieces, which are simultaneously fascinating, compelling and sometimes eerie, vary in length and they deliver plenty of ideas and delicate beauty in their short length and this restraint makes it a more powerful work.

From the opening "Iron Balcony" until the closing "Life Boat" the album progresses in a dreamlike fashion as the invisible narrative transitions between profound and obscure themes and forms. Sometimes these sound creations resemble little islands connected by an invisible thread. Bang carves out these unique ambient creations sometimes by using a surreal use of color, tone and texture that are embroidered within the collage that this record is. More interesting than the sounds themselves are the intelligence and sensitivity of their deployment, the constant attention to weight, color, and direction. Overall, it is simultaneously a very minimal and a very complex piece of writing. And, while it is intricate and sometimes alien, still this adds warmth, resonance and a sense of discovery to his musical chiaroscuro.

With this set Bang has managed to achieve what rarely has been done in this era: to open ears to new sonic possibilities. The intriguing confluences of sounds and moods, and the dramatically orchestrated peaks and valleys, Narrative from the Subtropics penetrates many sonic spaces that were unseen and unheard of until now.

Track Listing: Iron Balcony; Singer's Ashes; Tide; Smashing Windows; The Deep Serene; Singer's Childhood; Funeral Voyage; Interlude (Night Creatures); Melee of Suitcases; Artificial Reeves; Sinking Ship; Flooded Corridors; Lifeboat.

Personnel: Jan Bang: Akai sampler (1-13), programming (1-7, 9-13), synthesizer (3, 5), mpc (7), dictaphone (7), kaoss pad (10); Nils Chr. Moe Repstad: voice; Eivind Aarset: sampled guitar (2), guitars (3, 5, 7), bass (7); Sidsel Endresen: vocal (3, 9); Lars Danielsson: double bass (3); Undark: organ (3); Erik Honoré: field crickets (3), synthesizer (7); Arve Henriksen: sampled trumpet (4), trumpet (6, 8, 11); Tuule Kann: vocal (6), kannel (6); Tigran Hamasyan: piano (6); Robert Jürjendal: guitars (6); Stian Westerhus: sampled guitar (6), guitar (8); Nils Petter Molvæer: trumpet (7); Dai Fujikura: piano (9), electronics (9), cello samples (12); David Soler: sampled guitar (11).

Title: Narrative From The Subtropics | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Jazzland Recordings

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Jun4Tue
13. Festival Jazzdor Berlin Tag 1
Kesselhaus In Der Kulturbrauerei
Berlin, Germany
€14-60

Related Articles

Read Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances Album Reviews
Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances
By Dan McClenaghan
May 21, 2019
Read Crowded Heart Album Reviews
Crowded Heart
By Nicholas F. Mondello
May 21, 2019
Read That's a Computer Album Reviews
That's a Computer
By Jerome Wilson
May 21, 2019
Read All I Do Is Bleed Album Reviews
All I Do Is Bleed
By Paul Naser
May 21, 2019
Read LE10 18-05 Album Reviews
LE10 18-05
By Karl Ackermann
May 20, 2019
Read Remembering Miles Album Reviews
Remembering Miles
By Dan McClenaghan
May 20, 2019
Read Merry Peers Album Reviews
Merry Peers
By Bruce Lindsay
May 20, 2019