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Hugh Hopper - Parallel Dune (with Yumi Hara Cawkwell) CD (album) cover


Hugh Hopper


Canterbury Scene

2.22 | 4 ratings

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2 stars HUMI was a collaboration between the late bassist Hugh Hopper and Japanese vocalist and keyboardist Yumi Hara Cawkwell, who in one year recorded and released one official studio album, a limited edition live album and a live DVD also issued for a select audience only. "Parallel Dune" is the limited edition live album, and was released in June 2008.

And 2008 was probably planned to be some year for this creative duo. I surmise that this limited edition CD-R had been planned in conjunction with the Japanese tour Humi had planned, a tour that was cancelled due to Hopper's medical condition. It is still available however, but now from Yumi Hara Cawkwell's website.

Musically we're dealing with a sister production of the studio album "Dune", rather unsurprisingly. The CD consist of three unedited studio takes, two from a live performance held in London in 2007 and four excerpts from Humi's MySpace page. The latter actually the most intriguing for me, as the shortened length means that the ideas explored on these excerpts never becomes repetitive.

And the latter word is one that very much describes this disc, alongside words like minimalistic, avantgarde and jazz. Hopper's bass guitar accompanied by Cawkwell's powerful vocals, the piano and on some instances an organ. With a few effects and percussion details thrown in for good measure.

All of it excellently performed as far as I can tell, their skills as instrumentalists and vocalist never one to be questioned by me nor others presumably. But the context and compositional framework they utilize does end up with a final result that is for the specially interested.

Innovative bass lines and piano wanderings, improvisational in nature with free form tendencies, and music that relies on the simple contrast between bass and piano, bass and vocals or bass and organ. All along dampened in intensity, even when they hit off on the occasional pacier filled run. Dissonant more than melodic, emphasizing mood and atmospheres throughout.

In the same manner as I concluded with "Dune": Opinions will be divided on this production. If ambient, freeform tinged music of a jazz orientation sounds like an enticing description to you, this is a CD you probably should investigate further. If not, this is a production that most likely won't make a grand impression.

Windhawk | 2/5 |


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