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After Dinner - After Dinner [also released as: After Dinner / Live Editions] CD (album) cover


After Dinner



3.47 | 7 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars A revelation, borne of diverse influences.

This release compiles work from different eras. Certain tracks are repeated but vary between performances; After Dinner seem to have a loose semi-improv ethic which colours even their shortest pieces - in any event, the track lengths are mostly irrelevant as this CD holds far more ideas than titled songs.

Early on we can hear parallels with Art Bears, given a playful spin that can seem sweet at times (a feeling mostly missing from great swathes of avant-progressive rock) and grotesque at others. Because Haco's vocals define the songs both in a melodic and a rhythmic way, the instrumentation often drops into minimal improvisation of strange varieties - sometimes electronically based but other songs are driven almost entirely by percussion, or else by asian traditional instruments - you'll hear a lot of zithering and drones. At one moment the listener can be reminded of Kabuki by a brilliantly-placed stringed sliding twang, and seldom can a solitary note bring such a smile to your lips.

Other songs are less abstract; the Sepiature tracks and "Cymbals at Dawn" fall somewhere alongside the mature, psychedelic Beatles compositions and show innocent touches of shibuya-kei (for the unacquainted, imagine a warped, arguably cuter version of ye-ye chanson.)

Any personal complaints about this album will be aimed at its distinct disjointedness, as about half of the record could be categorised as "avant-pop" - this out-Björks Björk by several degrees - while the other is actually rather quiet and experimentally cold (although there are exceptions - "Dessert" being based around a very warm interplay between what this reviewer assumes to be dulcimer, drones, tambla and some sort of whispering kazoo instrument.) So "Live Editions" is primarily recommended to distinguishing listeners of the improvised avant-garde - and pop music. ;)

laplace | 4/5 |


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