Far Islands and Near Places by Quentin Sirjacq

Quentin Sirjacq is a French composer and performer on multiple instruments. At the core of this new record are his stately piano figures, which can recall, at times, both the neo-classical sweep of Nils Frahm and the minimal melodicism of Erik Satie. But electronics and beats have their place on Far Islands and Near Places too. CD on Schole.

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Far Islands and Near Places by Quentin Sirjacq
2 reviews. Write a review for us »
8/10 Jamie 11 March 2016

Monsieur Sirjacq is, it seems, a prolific composer, performer and multi-instrumentalist who has worked with the excellent Dakota Suite and it is the Frenchman's talents which shine through here on this twinkling, luminous piece of instrumental work. Shimmering piano, fender rhodes and playful glockenspiel entwine in the sunshine on the feathery dance that is "Aquarius" to open the album.

A light pulse and rhythmic keys reveal an airy house beat, arpeggiated synth play which reminds of Rival Consoles only a touch more delicate, vibraphone and glockenspiel - Arnaud Lassus on mallets - on the head-nodder "Bodies".  Gossamer piano and fender rhodes permeate like golden rays through the early morning mist of "Orange".  Quentin continues to display his fine sense of melody akin to that of Nils Frahm on the picture postcard perfect image of serenity that is "Far Islands".

"Wolfes" re-introduces the many mallets of Lassus in a dreamy, hazy, horizontal companion piece to Frahm's "Hammers". Glock upon glock upon Rhodes upon synth lap at the lake's edge as on the stillest of days at Windermere (minus the tourists); it's an hypnotic builder. "Round Dance" conjures up images of the sea with its undulating piano and unobtrusive but clarion soft mallets, like a mini pop Debussy. Piano tones augmented with synth mimicking a violin drone and the pattering of a rain shower reveal the most affecting, bittersweet passage yet on the Sakamoto-echoing "It's Raining in my House". Quentin and Arnaud send us out on a final hint of the merest ripple with the skyward prospect of "A Dream in a Dream", thus closing out the most uplifting ambient-neo-post-pop-classical album of my year so far. I am fully aware we have a long way to go, but the ride is mighty smooth now. 

1/10 Simon Benedict 31st July 2017

This music is just utter crap. I am so tired of wanna be musicians trying to pass themselves off for something original. The last thing the world needs is another airy instrumentalist, and I don't need anybody conjuring up image of Debussy for me. It seems like this album is an attempt to make up for a failed career with a real band, and real ideas. Nobody would be able to imagine high school bands reenacting the scores of Far Islands and Near Places, ever. This album is destined for total obscurity.


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