Wednesday, February 16, 2011

John Wolf Brennan - Triangulation : Whirligigs [Leo]

Bruno Amstad - voice, subcontrabass voice, loops
Christy Doran - electric & acoustic guitars, loops & fx
John Wolf Brennan - piano, organ, e-piano, clavinet, melodica, accordion & indian harmonium
Patrice Heral - percussion, loops, voice

Leo Records 2010

After a series of reviews concerning very serious music, big orchestras, whole sections of strings, modern chamber sensibiltiy etc. this one serves as a great antidote.

Call it a mash-up, call it eclectic, call it whatever you like, this is one of the strangest mix I've heard in a while.
With tribal rhythms, hip grooves, choral loops, whole array of strange sounds. Bruno Amstad is impressive and he can sing etno chants as good as he covers quite often  the bass part, sounding like hyper version of walking vocal lines in doo-wop music, or slowed down version of beatbox singing. Patrice Heral keeps the rhythm tight and to the point and adds vocal effects and counterpoints to the main line. The loops get layered one upon another, creating a whole choir of voices ("Space Bar"), the instrumental parts are exquisite, especially the guitar by Christy Doran, while John Wolf Brennan adds the abstract, avant, ethereal touch to the proceedings.
There's rap, there's blues, there's funk, tribal-trans-etno grooves, otherwordly sci-fi effects, there the sense of fun, spontaneity  and adventure. Ubelievable sonic world, where atonal piano chords are played on a funky drive and followed by some throat singing. And still there's the unity of vision and execution, tham makes all this weird mixture work wonders. Fun and refreshing. As hip as the avant music can get.


  1. Dear Krzysztof
    (hope I got all the z's and y's and krz's right....;-)

    thanks for your wonder-full review, which in my humble view
    really "hits the nail on its head“, straight-ahead, full-blow!
    Would you be interested in hearing and reviewing my new solopiano album "The Speed of Dark" (also on Leo)? And what about the new
    Pago Libre (Fake Folk)? Please let me know, and send me
    your postal address!

    all the best john wolf brennan, hofmattstr. 5, CH-6353 weggis

  2. Hello :) Glad you liked the review. Actually it's Bartosz (or, more casually, Bartek) but you got the 'sz' right, no worries :) . Of course I'd like to listen to more and more (I'm always greedy for new music) even if piano solo is not my favourite setting, fake folk sounds exciting :) . Will send you the address by e-mail. Long live the music! :)


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