All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

7

Fish in Oil: Poluostrvo

Nenad Georgievski By

Sign in to view read count
With the release of Fish in the Oil's debut, Polustrvo, the jazz underground in Belgrade, Serbia climbs closer towards daylight. This eclectic album explores several forms, all at once, as it eschews the easily identifiable and standard structured sounds. It seems Fish in Oil has opted for a multilayered approach, as it uses different sounds, rhythms, and transmissions. On top of that, and beyond what many other groups have attained, the group performs with abundant energy and plenty of interactions. These musicians have developed a collective spirit.

The opening "Rasprava o komediji" starts with a whistling melody that adds a sense of drama, but soon develops into a soundtrack that might have been composed by singer/composer Tom Waits. It is spooky, shattered and haunting. with ghostly guitar riffs that go in and out in the background, while a rolling, dark saxophone rides on top. Much of the music owes its inspiration from New York's downtown scene. There is the unmistakable nod towards guitarist Marc Ribot, as his presence is felt all over the record, but mostly on tracks such as "Zalazak Sunca," "Stereotip," and "Zemljotres." On "Zalazak Sunca," guitarist Branislav Radovanović evokes Ribot's twisted and fragile, slow-burn, surf guitar. He possesses a beautiful tone and phrasing that spouts interesting and inconceivably florid guitar passages. In addition, there is a distinct klezmer and blues feel to "Stereotip" that weaves a sense of anger and mourning.

"Zemljotres" also recalls the high-flying vistas of Ribot with its soaring arrangement and iridescent guitar lines. It starts with a blistering interplay between the saxophone and guitar, then turns into a roller coaster of cacophony that resembles the madness of Ribot's Albert Ayler-inspired band, Shrek. The glowing, seamless guitar playing instantly commands attention and quickly delivers. The beauty of Poluostrvo lies partly in the transition from subtle, deep lines to noisy chasms. But, no matter how experimental the band gets, or strives, the playing remains melodic and logical. Within the rhythm section, there is interesting communication, especially on "Miris Rumelije," where its interplay enhances what goes up front.

Another exceptional track is "Plava zgrada," a slowly driven track much in the manner of composer/saxophonist John Zorn's soundtrack, which works with Ribot at the guitar wheel. Saxophonist Dušan Petrović, with his gorgeous, present tone, weaves his way through this piece as through other tracks, with an unerring instinct for melody and communication.

Fish in Oil's Polustrvo is a strong debut. On one hand, this is complex music and partially alien from today's more straightforward sounds. On the other hand, its message is simple and direct. A pleasure of this band's music is the feeling that everything might teeter over the edge at any moment.

Track Listing: Rasprava o komediji; Kornjača; Zalazak sunca; Stereotip; Zemljotres; Misir Rumelije; Rasprava o drami; Monolog; Plava zgrada; So long; Zeleni val; Dolina vekova.

Personnel: Dušan Petrović: saxophone, flute; Bratislav Radovanović: guitar; Branislav Radojković: double bass; Aleksandar Radojičić Šojka: percussion;Tom Fedja Franklin: drums.

Title: Poluostrvo | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Columbia Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Fish in Oil: Drnch

Fish in Oil: Drnch

Mascom Records
2014

buy
 

Drnch

FFF Records
2013

buy
Poluostrvo

Poluostrvo

Columbia Records
2012

buy

Related Articles

Read Orientation CD/LP/Track Review
Orientation
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Romaria CD/LP/Track Review
Romaria
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 18, 2018
Read You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl! CD/LP/Track Review
You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl!
by Jerome Wilson
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Autres Paysages CD/LP/Track Review
Autres Paysages
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Elvesang CD/LP/Track Review
Elvesang
by John Kelman
Published: February 17, 2018
Read Necessary Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Necessary Arrangements
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 17, 2018
Read "The Cheap Ensemble" CD/LP/Track Review The Cheap Ensemble
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 10, 2017
Read "A Wing Dissolved In Light" CD/LP/Track Review A Wing Dissolved In Light
by John Sharpe
Published: July 29, 2017
Read "Use Your Imagination" CD/LP/Track Review Use Your Imagination
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 21, 2017
Read "Tomeka Reid Quartet" CD/LP/Track Review Tomeka Reid Quartet
by Patrick Burnette
Published: September 28, 2017
Read "Qitara" CD/LP/Track Review Qitara
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: November 2, 2017
Read "Kurrent" CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017