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Lebowski - Cinematic CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.05 | 168 ratings

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5 stars "Lebowski", "cinematic", two words that are linked to movies. The band Lebowski indeed intended to perform a soundtrack to a non-existent movie, like Mike Patton did with his project Fantomas. The music proposed is strongly rooted in space rock (echoes of Pink Floyd and fellow countrymen of Riverside can be heard), but in order to fit a non-existent movie, the band broadened their canvas by incorporating elements of ambient music, prog metal, "ethnic" music and extracts of voices from movies (mainly polish, but also french and english).

As it is difficult to give an overall picture of the music recorded, I will go through each track separately to give an overview of the influences and the diversity shared across the tracks.

- First track starts in an ethnic ambient mood with duduk, it is strongly reminiscent of the band Deleyaman and would be perfect for a record on Prikosnovénie or Equilibrium label. Then we are in known territories, with a space rock à la Riverside. - The second track features zither and vocalises that remind of ethnic ambient stuff of Dead Can Dance or her frontwoman, Lisa Gerrard, very soothing music. Bendir follows and gives an oriental feel to the music, it accompanies zither and vibraphone. Afterwards, the track alternates between intimate atmospheric oriental-sounding music and more daring instrumental prog metal with guitars and keys. A passage with electric piano and "heavenly" guitars (does anyone remember Cocteau Twins ?) follows. The end of the track blends vocalises, "heavenly" guitars and electric piano. - Third track opens with music that is in the "heavenly" genre, and could come straight from the 4AD label. A flute gives it the symphonic feel of a Happy The Man track (the symphonic prog rock band led by flautist/keyboardist extraordinaire Kit Watkins). A choir followed by "heavenly" guitars and repeted piano notes transport us to an "ambient" land. Drums then roll and guitars rage for a cross to the spacey prog metal land of Riverside. Drums then roll again, but this time like a bolero, and flute and choir put an end to the track. - The fourth track starts with a melancholic piano, resonant of fellow countryman Zbigniew Preisner. We are then transported to a more cinematic world, close to Pat Metheny's moving "last train home". Some echo-effects with harp and violin follow. Discrete trumpet can be heard in the background then a short passage with chaotic guitars. Peace and quietness are back with harp layers. Harp alternates with trumpet, and some hypnotic heavenly guitars emerge. - Fifth track shows a further move for heavenly music à la Cocteau Twins, opening with "heavenly" guitars. The whole track remains in a heavenly mood, presenting with some nice post-romantic piano layers here and there and discrete trombone. - On the sixth track, the aim was to pay a tribute to french music and movies, hence the presence of an accordion. The track opens once again in a "heavenly" mode, or we can even dare saying "gothic" (not surprising given the movie chosen for the voice extract, "le pacte des loups"). Some glockenspiel can be heard within the "heavenly" passage. Then, in order to give the track a french flavor, accordion enters and later on a short passage with harmonica can be heard. Faithful to their eclectism, the band integrated a keyboard solo after the french connection, before giving back to the accordion its place. A slightly prog metal passage follows and the accordion closes the track with the word "merci" from a voice sample. - The seventh track opens with a lullaby-sounding piano (Luigi Rubino of the band Ashram, signed on prikosnovénie, comes to mind). It quickly shifts to instrumental prog metal with a piano/guitar duel. Soft pan flute follows, then electric piano substitutes to the acoustic piano and duels with guitar. - We move to the eigth track, which has interesting reverbering keyboard effects, interspersed with echoing guitar soli. Lamenting guitars follow and some processed vocals are transitioned with nice hypnotic piano/guitar work. Guitars become then most daring, transporting us once again to the know territories of Riverside. - The two thirds of the ninth track are in the "ambient" mood, gentle piano/keyboard being joined by fretless bass and discrete percussion. The last third is in a sixties psychedelic rock mood, fast-tempo drums being accompanied with vintage Hammond organ. - The closing track features a voice sample of 2001 space odyssey and is a guitar-lead track, with some welcome Steve Vai-like effects. Piano, guitar and Hammond organ answer to each other. Piano and fretless bass then quieten the mood. Some echoes of fellow countrymen of symphonic prog rock band Satellite can be witnessed in the keyboard layers that follow the bass solo. The atmosphere then turns to jazzy ambient (à la Jan Garbarek) with a thoughtful saxophone-piano duet. The track ends with the sound of the projector stopping after the end of a movie.

In a nutshell, Lebowski is highly recommended for people who like their music eclectic and thoughtful.

lucas | 5/5 |


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