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- Gist Is by Adult Jazz
2 reviews. Add your own review.
I’d read about this lot in various publications yet this, their debut album remains unplayed here at the towers. Compared to the utter crap I’ve had to listen to this morning its pretty decent. Their sound, I guess, is somewhere between the operatic pop of Wild Beasts and the loosely structured baroque music of These New Puritans.
Its complex stuff, like the much-loved debut of Alt J, songs stop, start, stop again, change pace, disappear into moments of silence, burst into life at unexpected moments.There are plenty of interesting sections, particularly the latter half of ‘Am Gone’ with its staccato rhythms and bursts of horn, the whole track sounding like its wavering about desperately trying to stop itself falling over. I like this kind of ambition in a band but I’m struggling with a couple of things. Firstly singer Harry Burgess's voice is quite harsh on the ear, its powerful and quite a standard sounding thing for such a loose band and at times threatens to take over the entire mix. The music is also also clever- music college clever. They know their notes and how to play lots of them. They sound like a band who have studied all kinds obscure jazz- they know how to play and it shows.
The DIY punk in me balks at such musicianship and this is one of the aspects that is putting me off the record. That said, Wild Beasts came across like a bunch of clever sods with complete disregard for an audience on their first album and they soon settled down into something more enjoyable so let's give them a chance eh?
8/10 Sam Farley Customer review, 4th April 2015
Adult Jazz is something hard to describe. They’re a band that released its debut album last year and managed to push the boundaries. They do so by taking a step back, going back to the basics, and perfecting them. It’s similar to the Dirty Projector’s award winning album, Swing Lo Magellan, except they take it a step further.
The album itself is a continual unfolding of sounds and rhythms that may be hard to follow. It’s practically eclectic and dissonant in their rhythmic patterns, but they piece it together in a uniform matter that holds the songs together. This is where their musical skills are really displayed. They layer sounds on top of each other that mesh surprisingly well and are very succinct.
One of the most distinct things that they utilize is the idea of a voice being an instrument. A large portion of the album is without words, except the lead singer’s voice is present throughout. He uses his wide vocal range to compliment the overall body of the song and the instruments they use. Especially with the lack of words, it makes him even more pronounced when he does speak clearly and it really keeps him the focal point of the songs.
That being said, it doesn’t mask the other instrumental use. They use several instruments that are conveyed clearly and are unique in character. Instruments that aren’t typically used in most modern songs. It’s as if they produced a near electronic sound with just normal instruments. The time they put into this album is clearly shown through the simplicity of it all. They use many editing techniques, such as the reversing of sounds and placing them into the song. These techniques and sounds are most certainly there, but they seem to just fall into place. This seems to be the case with many of the other influences they incorporate into the album.
Overall, this album is something else in character and its delivery. They show a large amount of potential and character in practically developing their own niche of sound. Comparisons are hard with this band because of their diversity and different approaches throughout the album. Where one song may sound something like the vocalizations of Bon Iver, the next song may have the dissonant patterns that of Wild Beasts. Taking the band four years to produce off their own label, it’s truly something well mastered and well put together.
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