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Røgsignal: Pletter På Solen

Nick Davies By

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The Danish quartet Røgsignal (translated Smoke Signal) have explored the alluring borderland between traditional and modern musical genres since its inception in 2011. Having experimented with a more improvisational, punchy sound, which was documented on two digital live-EP's in 2014 and 2015, the band has settled on a more spacious vibe in this release, Pletter På Solen.

The music is still driven by simple, dreamy guitar/rhodes-melodies, but also clearly expresses a joint band effort in a fusion of countless references. Here, you'll find compositional ideals spanning everything from indie-rock to open, curious soundscapes and also songs inspired by a sleepless, metropolitan lifestyle vs. the calmness of rural Denmark.

Pletter På Solen sees Jakob Lauritsen on fender rhodes, Nikolaj Bugge on guitar, Henrik Lauritsen on bass and Jonas Møller Andreasen on drums. The album is the first studio recording for the band, an offering of eight tunes, featuring titles as diverse as "Safari" to "Mens Træerne Stryger Forbi."

The band's sound has been described as fusion jazz incorporating different sounds and influences from Denmark and the wider world of music. It works like magic, particularly in the opening track "Mens Træerne Stryger Forbi" which has Bugge leading with the guitar, accompanied by Andreasen on the drums and achieves the sounds of rural Denmark. The other instruments merge into the background to create a sense of mystery. Comparisons can be made with bands like Girls In Airports and Oddarang, as both hail from Scandinavia, however, Røgsignal brings their own distinctive twist. This provides a good indication on the way jazz from that region in the 21st century is evolving: a fusion of different styles and ideas.

The rock influences, as well as the sense of mystery and ambience, continues throughout the album and this is showcased in "Opp I Luften." It starts with Andreeasen's slow drumming before the rest of the band start playing. The drums feature until the rhodes of Lauritsen takes over building up the sound while the guitar builds a sense of mystery. This track shows how well each member of the band compliments their style and contributes to exceptional musical quality. Tightness is key for bands who perform this style of jazz and Røgsignal delivers every time because they understand what is required musically and play to each other's strengths.

The eight tracks on this release follow a similar pattern but this does not mean that the music is not enjoyable. The album is good but leaves a sense of anticipation for future releases. To achieve the mix of modern and traditional is no mean feat as the styles are so diverse that, performed poorly, it can sound out of tune. Rosignal intertwines these styles incredibly well and delivers each track with the perception of ease. "Opp I Luften" for its musicality and dramatization which brings to the fore the sounds of rural Denmark is the standout track.

Track Listing: Mens Træerne Stryger Forbi Katten Fra Nubien Safari, Zombievals Der Løber Meget Vand I Åen Den Halve Pyramide Oppe I Luften Pletter På Solen

Personnel: Jakob Lauritsen: Fender Rhodes & Hohner Stringer Nikolaj Bugge: Guitars Henrik Lauritsen - Bass Jonas Møller Andreasen - Drums

Title: Pletter På Solen | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Danish Desert Records


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