|Knifeworld — Bottled Out of Eden (April 22, 2016)|
Knifeworld — Bottled Out of Eden (April 22, 2016) ? Tam, kde skončili Gentle Giant, přichází jiná fúze art~rocku a experimentálního psychedelického rocku. S výhodou hned několika ženských postav, což povyšuje hudbu na unikátní dobrodružství. Knifeworld je raritou v tom, že obsazuje formát oktetu se dvěma alty a navíc baryton saxofon vytvářející atmosféru malého big bandu. Tato sestava jim umožňuje, aby v instrumentacích získala zbarvení, které nemám šanci slyšet často v moderním progu. Hlavní sekvence úvodní kompozice High Aflame je uvedena dechy, hrající opakovanou figuru, zatímco kapela pomalu roste, až postupně bobtná v pozadí. Groovy jsou solidní a vytváří pocit rychlého pohybu vpřed; je to právě ten druh skladby, kterou chcete slyšet znova a znova z autorádia. Dalším unikátním aspektem tohoto uspořádání je přítomnost duálního zpěvu Kavuse a Melanie Woods, vytvářející disonanci i harmonické napětí, které společně s partem anglického rohu vytváří dojem, že kapela je větší, než tomu je ve skutečnosti. /// Were it not for an almost accidental affiliation with the modern prog rock scene, Knifeworld would surely have been embraced by the indie mainstream years ago. Bottled Out of Eden arrives as the band begin to make inroads in that domain, but rather than imbue their sound with a little Tame Impala~like polish, this is an even more adventurous and cheerfully skewed exercise in prog~tinged psychedelia than 2014’s stunning The Unravelling. Uplifting, euphoric and spacious where its predecessor was claustrophobic and gloomy, Knifeworld’s third album takes in blissful krautrock sermonising (High/Aflame), snappy art rock (The Germ Inside) and mutant jazz~rock grooves (I Am Lost) — and that’s just the first three songs. Students of this stuff will spot shades of Gong, Henry Cow, XTC and Shudder to Think lurking amid the angular rhythmic twists and elegantly perverse arrangements, but frontman and ex~Cardiac Kavus Torabi’s greatest skill is his ability to cram incisive but wonderfully alien melodies into every misshapen sonic nook. This is a big, vivid, lysergic joy. (Dom Lawson) Location: Hackney, London, UK
Genre: ProgRock, Psychedelic
Album release: April 22, 2016
Record Label: Inside Out
01 High Aflame 6:29
02 The Germ Inside 4:47
03 I Am Lost 7:14
04 The Deathless 5:26
05 Foul Temple 2:38
06 Vision of the Bent Path 0:33
07 I Must Set Fire to Your Portrait 5:37
08 Lowered Into Necromancy 4:05
09 A Dream About a Dream 5:43
10 Secret Words 3:13
11 Feel the Sorcery 3:51
? Kavus Torabi Arranger, Composer, Cuatro, Guitar, Harmonium, Noise, Organ, Producer, Santoor, Toy Piano, Vocals
? Melanie Woods Noise, Vocals
? Ben Woollacott Drums
? Chloe Herington Bassoon, Sax (Alto), Sax (Tenor), Vocals
? Emmett Elvin Composer, Fender Rhodes, Organ, Piano, Synthesizer, Whistle
? Shona Davidson Vocals
? Esther Dee Soprano (Vocal)
? Katharine Blake Violin
? Chantal Brown Primary Artist
? Charlie Cawood Bass
? Knifeworld’s Kavus Torabi has never been afraid to use the crawlspace between prog, psychedelia and full~blown, overt pop, only to fill it with the expansive, the melody~driven and the just plain quirky. The band’s third LP is no exception — imagine XTC collaborating with Captain Beefheart whilst slurping on a mojito or two, and you might get some idea.
? Now an eight~piece, the band’s myriad instrumentation here is deliberately aligned to spontaneity; recorded in just nine days, there’s a fresh, snappy feel embedded across tracks such as High/Aflame and I Am Lost. Admirably, Knifeworld feel little compulsion to drown the audience under the weight of an octet’s musicianship.
? Neither is this all up~tempo hijinx; both Foul Temple and Lowered into Necromancy offer reflective moments amidst the complex time signatures and rhythm section playfulness. The overreaching effect is one of pleasantly drifting through vogue and template, the subtle application of guitar, sax and keys adding to the mood.
By: Ed Sprake | Mar 23, 2016 |
? How would I describe Knifeworld to the uninitiated? An experimental psyche/rock band roughly forced into a room containing a glockenspiel and a raft of woodwind instruments? I’d say that is certainly a start, but it’s doesn’t begin to define the creativity and sheer talent contained within this 8 piece from London. There are moments of obvious influence from bands such as Barrett era Floyd and also obvious links to Cardiacs, but Kavus Torabi brings his own unique input to these arrangements creating a style that really, quite uniquely, belongs to Knifeworld.
? The press pack asserts that this is an album “Inspired by the death of loved ones, Bottled Out Of Eden is an eleven piece song cycle of loss and hope”. In its nearly 50 minute run time, the album cycles through motions of loss and despair, but always moments of hope, beauty and optimism win through. Beautiful and often fleetingly discordant harmonies create movement and tension throughout this record. There are some very dark moments, but these are tempered by a return to light and exhilarating melodies, perfectly crafted to enthral and enchant the listener. Somehow there is a great sense of openness and accessibility about this album, only hinted at in their previous release The Unravelling. That is definitely not to say that the song structure and forms used have become simplified. Depth and complexity still abound, but they somehow sit more comfortably on my consciousness. There is contradiction here, and coherency. This is still very definitely a Knifeworld album.
? The album starts with ‘High/Aflame’, an unsettling drone of textured synths, rapidly augmented by Torabi’s plaintive voice, builds to a driving and urgently rhythmical track, slowly introducing woodwind elements, turning melancholy into a calm, measured elation and setting the scene for the ever~changing soundscape to follow. ‘The Germ Inside’ starts with a piano line in a minor key, morphing into a subtlety off~kilter beast, adding sharp stabs of woodwind and additional layers as the track progresses, continually evolving into something thick and frenetic, only to end on a perfectly nonchalant guitar line and the distinctive clatter of a discarded tambourine.
? After quite a frenetic start, ‘I Am Lost’ thins out the sound somewhat starting with insistent, funky woodwind and bass, dropping out to just the bass, leaving room for lighter feminine vocals to fill the void. This is the longest track on the album and has plenty of room built in for some serious dynamics. This track alone quite possibly has more ideas and themes than some albums I regularly listen to. Once again, for all that intricacy, there is a singular vision and intent bringing everything together and driving things forward to more of this story.
? ‘The Deathless for me is certainly one of the highlights of the album, politely introducing itself with a rolling tom line and a gentle, delicate riff from Kavus’ guitar. ? This is quickly layered with vocal stabs, and bassoon, developing into a complex and richly structured harmony that shimmers with a delicate grace, only to be brashly interrupted by urgent guitars and build to a rich climax. Long enough to give you a taste of the band’s self~made Heaven and self~imposed Hell.
? The next two tracks temper the built up momentum and settle the album down to a more sedate place. ‘Foul Temple’ with gently delivered, if somewhat sinister, lyrics and almost folk acoustic guitar segues nicely into the 30 second bassoon and clarinet interlude of ‘Vision of the Bent Path’. ‘I Must Set Fire To Your Portrait’ starts off quietly with some terse, pithy guitar and slowly morphs into an ostensibly chaotic composition, cleverly building up the tension until you are asked “Do you feel you were born again?”. Then follows a rapid descent into mischievous and almost malevolent territory. “Saw you hanging up from your wire. I got matches let’s start a fire” setting the scene for the ensuing darkness.
? ‘Lowered Into Necromancy’ is a masterful display of how angular guitar riffs and inspirational use of drum lines can mix with cleverly timed lead and backing vocals to make the 4/4 time signature sound utterly otherworldly. This is of course, before the structure subtly changes to bring everything back into a more standard focus to excellent and uplifting effect. ‘A Dream About A Dream’ carries on with this gentler theme, deftly building tension throughout until fading back into solitary, almost lonely keyboards. A theme picked up by ‘Secret Words’, steering us towards the end of this album with a piece that flips from destitute melancholy to passages almost reminiscent of an acoustic Led Zeppelin track. Finishing the album and providing a welcome uplift to the mood is ‘Feel the Sorcery’, proffering a way out of the loneliness into a triumphant, almost poppy bookend to a 50 minute tour of the band’s collective psyche.
? Bottled Out Of Eden picks up where The Unravelling left us in 2014, nevertheless, this still feels like a fresh start. Everything has been expertly honed. The composition, the recording, and the production. Consequently, everything is left sharper, in greater focus. This feels like an album that was crafted to be played live, in all its glorious complexity, fit to excite, confuse, and animate any lucky audience that it happens upon. Drawing on past influences, creating new and unexpected directions from almost familiar cues, each track holds its own secrets. Many only starting to be revealed on repeated listening. Yet despite the sometimes significant and unexpected changes of direction, there is a sense of completeness, of a story well told, flowing perfectly from beginning to end, dragging you mercilessly through all the unpredictable alleyways of Knifeworld’s collective consciousness.
? This is a fittingly epic third release for a band with this level of mastery of their form. A truly kaleidoscopic wonder of progressive psychedelia, replete with glittering gems reflecting and fragmenting the abundant light, but mixed with dark, sinister, opaque moieties, which when skilfully woven together create ever shifting and beautiful patterns in the mind’s eye. I can’t help wondering which dark stories they will draw on for the next glimpse into their utterly fascinating world.
Shawn Dudley: http://www.progradar.org/index.php/2016/04/11/review-knifeworld-bottled-out-of-eden-by-shawn-dudley/
? Knifeworld began in 2009 upon the release of their debut album “Buried Alone — Tales Of Crushing Defeat”. What started ostensibly as a solo project of Kavus Torabi (Cardiacs, Guapo, Gong) as a continuation musically of his former band, The Monsoon Bassoon, grew into a fully~fledged recording and touring six piece band.
? Knifeworld’s music is typified by complex polyrhythmic arrangements, soaring male/female vocal harmonies and songs packed with unexpected twists and hooks.
? Now London~based psychedelic octet Knifeworld are extremely pleased to announce their third studio album ‘Bottled Out Of Eden’, due for release on InsideOut Music on the 22nd April 2016. The follow~up to 2014’s ‘The Unravelling’, described by The Guardian as “an ingenious, joyful exercise in exploratory zeal”, BOOE is a subtler but more immediate record than any other Knifeworld release. At times beautiful and uplifting & at others melancholic, haunting and otherworldly, the album remains surprisingly accessible and frontman Kavus Torabi had this to say:
? “After The Unravelling, which took over a year to complete, we deliberately wanted to change the variables. To alter the approach in order to make something different. I love The Unravelling but it was a very difficult record to make. Rather than spending so long in the studio, constructing, arranging, recording, re~recording and adding layers of additional instruments and noises, this time round we wanted something rawer, more live sounding.”
? Torabi continues: “Once we had the title, ‘Bottled Out Of Eden’, the songs came very quickly. For me, the title has three possible interpretations and all the songs fall under at least one of them. I always like to have a definite theme, it allows you to map out the territory making it far easier to identify which songs that will or won’t fit with the overarching idea giving the record a far greater cohesion.”
? ‘Bottled Out Of Eden’ fuses elements of English psychedelic pop, folk and art rock, with NY minimalist inspired horn arrangements and typically unconventional song structures that take full advantage of the bands 8~piece line~up. The tail end of last year saw that full band out on tour in the UK with their friends in Vennart where they road~tested several songs from the album.
? Kavus continues: “One aspect of Bottled Out Of Eden is the idea of a self~made Heaven or a self~imposed Hell, that agony or ecstasy are often a choice. I look back on the twenty five years of making the kind of music I do, particularly the last six with Knifeworld and just feel so fortunate for the friendships, experiences and absolute joy it has brought. I wanted the album to be as much about that, a celebration of this all too fleeting life, as it is a reflection on death and its impact on everyone that is left behind.”
|Knifeworld — Bottled Out of Eden (April 22, 2016)|