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Spaltklang - Lontano CD (album) cover

LONTANO

Spaltklang

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.96 | 4 ratings

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memowakeman
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Excellent third album!

A couple of years after the release of "Surprise" (my favorite Spaltklang so far) they created their third full-length album called "Lontano", which features ten songs and a total time of 51 minutes. Once again, this interesting Swiss quartet has offered a good album that is worth listening, though in the other hand, this may be my least favorite of theirs.

The album opens with "Antipasto" which happens to be the first of four parts (movements) of "Ein Diner zu Ehren von John Cage" or (A dinner in honour of John Cage); these four short (one minute) pieces were placed as tracks one (Antipasto), three (Primo), six (Secondo) and nine (Dessert), and consist basically in a saucerful of weird sounds.

Immediately after the end of the first piece, "Nachter" appears with a strong violin and sax sound, well accompanied by great drums and a powerful bass sound. During the almost ten minutes of this song, you will listen to some cool changes in mood and tempo, I really like when the music slows down and produces different atmospheres and feelings, then it gradually progresses until it forms a new structure. Pretty cool song!

So "Primo" gives a darker feeling, it sounds like the transition of a film, in a tense scene. Now "Der Wurm" begins with drums that seconds later will be joined by bass, sax and violin. The sound may be alike to the previous long song, however the rhythm is neither the same, nor the music itself, the thing is that there is a nice continuity in their style. In this song you will find some "rockier" moments and I can say that was provoked by the drums, which are awesome in this whole track. Later there is a sudden change where a sax solo appears. One can easily enjoy the almost ten minutes of this track (or any Spaltklang track), though it is not actually the easiest music to digest, once you can, you will be thankful.

The longest track is "1+4" with ten minutes and a half. Some kind of dissonant bass sound opens it; there are some electronic effects here that produce a dark atmosphere. The track continues like this for a minute and then the other instruments enter and each of them play different things, seem like they are not connected, however, they are. After minute three it is clearer that a new structure is being built, the rhythm sounds semi-slow, but it is very interesting actually. There are several changes in this single track, however it never fails, it does not lose its essence, and you as listener, don't lose interest, so better open your ears to it.

"Secondo" offers again some weird sounds, one minute of strange music. "Old & New" is one of those awesome tracks you cannot miss. Pay attention to the work of Markus Stauss with his saxophone, it is simply amazing, takes you to another planet, easily. But well, as I've mentioned in my other reviews, in this band, the four members are equally important, equally awesome, and when in a band all the musicians are like that, then the music is a complete success.

"Berg & Tal" gives the sensation of a faster song that will ask for your attention since the very first seconds. It maintains that accelerate rhythm for a minute and a half until it suddenly slows down, and as you can imagine, again it gradually progresses and makes different changes, which does not mean they use the same formula in all their songs, and if they do, they have the right as long as it works, and it does.

The last of the four short pieces comes with "Dessert", maybe the weirdest of them all, the final part of this John Cage tribute. And now the final part but of the album comes with "Another Dance Tune"; if you've realized, they use three different languages in the song names, something curious. In this last song the title says it all, though a jazzy-avant garde track is not really something to dance, it does suggests it in parts, which is funny but actually pretty interesting. In my opinion, this was a good choice, a good track to finish this excellent album.

Though I previously mentioned that this may be my least favorite Spaltklang album, I must say that so far none of their albums have let me down, and this is not the exception, actually, I've enjoyed them so much that none deserve less than four stars. So I recommend this band a lot.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 4/5 |

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