The Kandinsky Effect Synesthesia

UOE Booklet


[Read in English below]

Kandinsky效应的张专辑的, Synesthesia(联觉)是一个移动、美丽的唱片。美丽的就像Blade Runner(银翼杀手)的未来怀旧污垢,而非百合花。另一个想到的反乌托邦电影是The Crow(乌鸦)。虽然90年代的替代声音在这里被重新利用,该唱片的气氛也许是介于两者之间,但更接近后者的配乐。有很多不会发生在90年代的元素,在如爵士乐训练有素的音乐家在处理收音机头世界时会用到:由于扭曲的冲动出现的轰隆旋转线条上升和在奇怪时间符号中的破损的鼓,以及鼓机的无情车轮。

我认为必须处理流派的问题。虽然这是一个萨克斯三重奏与一些即兴的方面,但绝对不是爵士。不过,像其他有着类似概念的乐队(想到的是Jim Black’s AlasNoAxis)歌曲是有控制的,而不是即兴表演。有时,歌曲的旋律听起来像一个歌手在唱歌(“Brighton”),有时听起来更飘渺(“WK51”)。但总是先讲述一个故事或画一幅画,而不是先展示技能。这并不是说好的技能不明显。萨克斯管吹奏者Warren Walker展示可靠的措辞控制、清晰度和颤音;贝斯手 Gael Patrina 往往听起来像一个贝斯手和吉他手同时演奏;而鼓手Caleb Doliste自信而游刃有余地管理很难的碎拍和Motianesque醉酒风格。我说不准这些声音是否都来自有效的乐器和循环踏板的创造性使用或一个民建联的配音、样本和录音室效果,但我知道的是,尽管这张专辑有一致的声音,其中是有很多变化的,没有声音总是苍白无力或总是以同样的方式变形。


[Youtube video]


The Kandinsky Effect’s album Synesthesia is a transporting, beautiful record. Beautiful like the futuristic nostalgic grime of Blade Runner, not beautiful like a lily. Another dystopian film that comes to mind is The Crow. The atmosphere of the record is maybe somewhere between the two, but it more resembles the soundtrack of the latter, though that ’90s alternative sound is repurposed here. There are many elements that wouldn’t have happened in the ’90s, but it does sound at times like jazz trained musicians dealing with Radiohead’s world: plangent melody lines ascending from distorted compulsions and broken drums in odd time signatures, and the merciless wheel of the drum machine.

The question of genre must be addressed, I suppose. Definitely not jazz, though it is a saxophone trio with some improvisational aspects. But like some other bands with a similar concept (Jim Black’s AlasNoAxis comes to mind) the songs are central, rather than the improvisation. Sometimes the songs are so melodic they sound like a singer is singing them (“Brighton”) and sometimes they’re more atmospheric (“WK51”), but telling a story or painting a picture is always the priority, rather than technical displays. Not that good technique isn’t apparent. Saxophonist Warren Walker displays assured phrasing control, articulation, and vibrato; bassist Gael Patrina often sounds like a bass player and a guitar player at the same time; and drummer Caleb Dolister manages difficult breakbeats and Motianesque drunken-style with aplomb and edge. I can’t tell if the sound all comes from the instruments with effects and creative use of loop pedals or if there’s a dab of overdubs, samples and studio effects, but I do know that, while the album has a consistent sound, there’s a lot of variation within it, and no sound is always naked or always distorted the same way.

There’s a sweetness to Walker’s sound that almost comes across as naiveté‎ ‎in the hostile surroundings, though he too lurches to menace before long. This creates a romantic concerto where the heroic soloist is trying to resist the forces of fate personified in the orchestra, like the corruptible artistic spirit trying to transcend the horrifying city, or the divided, angry, infantilized spirit of Homo Internetus.

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