On his previous release, Serbian electric bass guitarist Uros Spasojevic presented a set of solos and duets with pianist Bojan Marjanovic on V (Amp Music & Records, 2018). Here he uses his 5-string tenor bass with extensive electronic processing in real time to create a suite of soundscapes. The instrument is capable of traditional bass playing, but that is not the point of this music. In fact, it would be easy to listen to it without realizing that it is being played on a bass at all. It could just as well be a baritone guitar.
"Tremor" does begin the album with some low notes: an ominous ostinato pattern which is quickly caught up in a wash of reverse reverb, before being topped by a dreamy, high-pitched melody which does not sound like it is coming from a bass. "One" features sample and hold rhythms, with metallic, heavily processed sounds. "Wind (Island 1)" introduces finger style playing into the mix, which is then looped to accompany a solo. A lovely piece, and a break from the electronic sound before this.
As if in response, "Rain (Continuum pt. 1)" starts out with echoed raindrop sounds. But then Spasojevic adds on another chord pattern and solo with only a bit of reverb. So there is definitely space for traditional guitar playing (if not quite bass playing). "Sea" (the longest track, at almost eight minutes long) goes through a fascinating progression from fingerstyle playing to electronic atmosphere, concluding with a massive wash of sound, like a thunderstorm. "Wave" sounds almost entirely electronic, with just brief glimpses of the underlying sounds. "Tribute" is another soundscape from which a dream-like melody emerges (sounding like a synthesizer, like many of the sounds here). "Senok" ends the program with a cloud of echo and a final fingerstyle melody.
Winter Tales is a singular accomplishment: a triumph of mood and atmosphere, and Spasojevic's most personal project to date.
Tremor; One; Time; Wind (Island 1); Rain (Continuum pt. 1); Breath; Sea; Look; Song for J.B.; Wave; Dream (Continuum pt. 2); Journey (Island 2); Tribute; Two; Senok.
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