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Jet Black Sea - The Path of Least Existence CD (album) cover


Jet Black Sea


Crossover Prog

4.07 | 72 ratings

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5 stars Jet Black Sea is a dark-ambient musical project with elements of electronic music and progressive rock, lead by guitarist Adrian Jones (of progressive rock band Nine Stones Close) and instrument sampling arranger Michel Simons. Do not be mistaken by the name of the band, it is not a tribute to the music of Stranglers, and Jet Black's drumming in particular (though songs like "la folie" might fit the bill), it is ethereal music with lush arrangements and an overall intriguing atmosphere, akin to the likes of Dead Can Dance, Massive Attack or Nine Inch Nails but also to Pink Floyd and King Crimson for the progressive rock side.

With its incantatory voices and eerie keyboards, "the path of least existence pt 1" sets the mood of the album: dark, ambient, and meditative. Some distant colliding keyboard sounds add to the mysterious feel. Short guitar licks seem disoriented in this strange atmosphere. Slowly moving forward drums join, and guitars deliver distorted sounds, soon followed by a noise evoking crashing walls like marking the end of an era. Slow mysterious piano touches accompany the crashing noise, they really sound like the piano in Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut.

"Outnumbered" opens with ulcerated guitars. It then segues into more cheerful territories than previously, with more upbeat incantatory voices, aquatic rhodes and soothing piano/keyboards, programmed beats vibrating like the tail of a dog to signify that it is happy. In the bridge, the vibrating beats morph into "laser" sounds, before syncopated drums with thrilled guitars reinforce the feeling of cheerfulness. The song ends in a meditative way with dreamy keyboards.

"The law of diminishing" starts with distorted guitars like a gurgling stomach, then some creepy piano notes and a wall of threatening guitars narrow the musical space and give it an oppressive vibe. The ambiance becomes mysterious with dubious guitars and stubborn slow drums (by stubborn, I mean "that barely deviates from a pattern that seems imposed" it is not derogatory at all within the current context). Guitar develops a melody line as the song progresses and ends in imploring ways.

"Worst case scenario" deals with a looped vibraphone, interspersed with percussions, various threatening sounds and laidback then tribal drums.

"cage of myself pt 1" comes with floating dark keyboards, gentle repetitive slow guitar. The cloudy keyboards give way to sunny keyboards and celesta join together with an insisting signal.

In "nothern exposure", a sad mid-tempo piano is backed by dark cloudy keyboards, furtive glockenspiel and aerial Gilmour-like guitars. A short passage presents with a plaintive guitar, like an animal in wound crying, while the piano sounds more upbeat and the keyboards sunnier. The sad piano then returns and concludes the song.

"cage of myself pt 2" is a short piece with orchestral keyboards and threatening guitars sounding like a military step.

"Jet Black Sea" offers programmed beats like a ping pong ball bouncing on the table, and various electronic effects, including whistling keyboards. They are followed by interesting echoing sounds and incantatory voice. The song remains in an electronic vibe with slow programmed beats, keyboards blowing like the wind, crying guitars and keyboards rendering the sound of trumpet, all these elements reminding the more laidback moments of Pink Floyd crossed with Mark Isham's meditative world.

In the closing track, "the path of least existence pt 2", incantatory voices ' la Lisa Gerrard meet pensive keyboards and slowly coming tribal drums. When guitar steps in with both aggressive and aerial inflexions, the drums start beating with syncopation, and soon ensure the transition, once left alone, to a mellow epilogue, with gentle piano and guitar licks disintegrating in the air like dust in the wind.

With 'the path of least existence', The Jet Black Sea navigate on troubles waters, and invite us to a journey through mysterious countries "obscured by clouds" and where people say "goodbye Blue sky" but sometimes are "racing the clouds home".

lucas | 5/5 |


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