All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

147

Raoul Bj: Shadowglow

By

Sign in to view read count
There are moments on Shadowglow where Raoul Björkenheim and Lukas Ligeti achieve such an intuitive balance that it's hard to tell who's playing what.

Björkenheim is a percussive guitarist, Ligeti a melodic drummer who plays the kit (and a variety of other percussion instruments) with remarkable fluidity. Björkenheim is capable of making his guitar sound like a thumb piano, a gamelan, or a sandstorm. The two players are clearly listening, and the music breathes and swells accordingly. Noisy elements find their way in, but things never devolve into chaos. The way they shift gears and styles is uncanny, giving hints of telepathy across the disc.

"Olivezone," "Vicousphere" and "Niagra Mowhawk" are standout tracks where the two musicians merge seamlessly. Worldly and otherworldy influences are there to ponder: African (North and elsewhere) and various Asian musics creep in as well. None of it sounds at all forced, or anything other than organic.

Björkenheim and Ligeti avoid the trap of one-dimensionality that plagues many "new" improvisers. Most of the songs dance and propel themselves forward. Ligeti sets himself apart from the "free" world's hordes of Milford Graves/Sunny Murray imitators. The drummer is capable of playing polyrhythmic free time, which never strays too far from the body's natural movements.

The album, oddly, has its share of greyish-metallic moments. When they hit up-tempo crests, they reach heights most metal musicians should glimpse ("Ghosted Walls," "Red Turns Rain Gold," "Duoyell.") When they rock, they mostly avoid tepid fusion noodling. Some of the tracks get heavy while remaining subtly tempered at the same time. Their ability to pull off delicately tangled, harnessed ferocity, stop-on-a-dime navigation is scary.

It's appropriate that Shadowglow —like many of its track titles—is a neologism. These are people pushing beyond the limits of language, verbal and musical. And it works.

Track Listing: 1. Into Fall 2. Ghostedwall 3. Niagara Mowhawk 4. Rain Turns Red Gold 5. Cogwheels of Speed 6. Shed and Torn 7. In the Flesh 8. Duoyell 9. Olivezone 10. Viciousphere 11. Fountain Jewel 12. Changgo Valse

Personnel: Raoul Bj

Title: Shadowglow | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: TUM Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Doors of Perception

Doors of Perception

Cuneiform Records
2017

buy
Out of the Blue

Out of the Blue

Cuneiform Records
2016

buy
eCsTaSy

eCsTaSy

Cuneiform Records
2014

buy
BLIXT

BLIXT

Cuneiform Records
2012

buy
Shadowglow

Shadowglow

TUM Records
2004

buy
Ritual

Ritual

Cuneiform Records
2004

buy

Related Articles

Read Half Light CD/LP/Track Review
Half Light
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 24, 2018
Read The Groove Hunter CD/LP/Track Review
The Groove Hunter
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 24, 2018
Read Powered by Life CD/LP/Track Review
Powered by Life
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 24, 2018
Read Seymour Reads The Constitution! CD/LP/Track Review
Seymour Reads The Constitution!
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 24, 2018
Read Mephiti CD/LP/Track Review
Mephiti
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2018
Read Seymour Reads The Constitution! CD/LP/Track Review
Seymour Reads The Constitution!
by Doug Collette
Published: May 23, 2018
Read "Southern Blood" CD/LP/Track Review Southern Blood
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 17, 2017
Read "Hope" CD/LP/Track Review Hope
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Rhapsody" CD/LP/Track Review Rhapsody
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2018
Read "Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk" CD/LP/Track Review Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 29, 2017
Read "WashAshore" CD/LP/Track Review WashAshore
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 30, 2017
Read "The Other Side of Time" CD/LP/Track Review The Other Side of Time
by Gareth Thompson
Published: January 30, 2018