6

Erik Honore and Greta Aagre: Year of the Bullet

Nenad Georgievski By

Sign in to view read count
Erik Honore and Greta Aagre: Year of the Bullet Impressive in its reach and warmth, the music of keyboardist/sampler/lyricist Erik Honoré and vocalist Greta Aagre on Year of the Bullet feels like a perfect brushstroke of sound calligraphy, full of cinematic passages that are designed to evoke a broad emotional spectrum. This is the duo's third release and first signed under their names—previously, they were known as Elsewhere.

Years of the Bullet is an Italian expression describing the hard '70s, when Italy was plagued by political tension and terrorism. Mostly written in Italy, the album combines a masterful and imaginative blending of samples taken from various geographical locations and sources, as well as live instruments. The outcome is an almost otherworldly, pillow-soft music with an unending flow of ideas.

As one of the driving forces behind the highly creative and original Punkt festival in Norway, an acclaimed producer and remixer and inveterate collaborator, Honoré lives up to his reputation as he creates layered and rich soundscapes that ripple like ancient tapestries given a fresh airing. Accompanied by these beautiful and imaginative instrumental backdrops, Aagre intones captivating, mesmeric spoken and sung passages.

The sonic rush that starts from the opener, "Birth Mark," and ends with the closing "Home," offers a delicate combination of flickering atmospheres, subtle orchestrations and intricate imagery. On one hand, these songs can be seen as beautifully sculpted aural creations and, on the other, as deftly imagined and wonderfully crafted pieces with unmistakable pop leanings. Across these 11 songs there isn't one weak or unnecessary moment to be found. The album balances moods nicely and it's this balance that makes the record both evocative and ethereal. Each song is designed to complement the poem at its center, until Aagre's voice actually becomes music. There is a beautiful playfulness on "Strangeness" which tiptoes elegantly, while tracks such as "Rope," "Before Betrayal" and "Night Train" sound like miniatures that conjure up cathedral-sized ambiences.

The album's cast of supporting musicians is comprised of close friends and acquaintances, like sound maverick Jan Bang, trumpeter Arve Henriksen and composer Dai Fujikura, who are all sympathetic to this duo's diverse leanings. British singer David Sylvian—with whom both Honoré and Bang have collaborated extensively, including the parallel-released Uncommon Deities (Samadhisound, 2012)—acted as an external consultant during the final stages of the album's making. Both releases also share the brilliant artwork of renowned designer Chris Bigg (mostly known for his artwork for labels 4AD and Samadhisound). Sylvian's presence can also be felt on the title track, as the pulsating rhythm and tempo closely resemble "Wonderful World," the opener to Sylvian's Snow Borne Sorrow's (Samadhisound, 2006).

The end result is a richly varied album, its stark beauty emphasizing the breadth of the musicians' talents. It is intricate and engaging music that adds warmth and resonance to this duo's musical chiaroscuro.


Track Listing: Birth Mark;Strangeness; Rope; Before Betrayal; Via E; Year of the Bullet; Move to Strike; Night Train; Stay the Course.

Personnel: Erik Honore: samples, synthesizer, synth bass, percussion, piano, percussion programming; Greta Aagre: vocals, samples; Arve Henriksen: trumpet, trumpet samples; Jan Bang: samples, percussion programming; Dai Fujikura: string samples; Greg Williamsburg: backing vocal; Jorgen Rief: guitar, bass; Tom Rudi Torjussen: drums, conga; Tor Henning Leh, electric guitar samples.

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Jazzland Recordings | Style: Electronica


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Sketches on the Radio" CD/LP/Track Review Sketches on the Radio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 14, 2016
Read "Xabregas 10" CD/LP/Track Review Xabregas 10
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "Invention of Knowledge" CD/LP/Track Review Invention of Knowledge
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 9, 2016
Read "Lightyears" CD/LP/Track Review Lightyears
by Jim Olin
Published: July 2, 2016
Read "Everyone Is Everyone Else" CD/LP/Track Review Everyone Is Everyone Else
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 13, 2016
Read "Cinema Spiral" CD/LP/Track Review Cinema Spiral
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 31, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!