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(62:56, ReR Megacorp)
TRACK LIST: 1. The Song of the Merbau Tree 3:09 2. Surrounding Us the Pulse of Depths 6:47 3. The Rainbow Hunter 3:09 4. World of Cobweb Fabric 5:44 5. Third Level of Dream 9:49 6. Man Inside the Great Fish 11:55 7. Time 10:21 8. Aquarium of the Universe 8:01 9. Unnamed 4:01 LINEUP: Pawel Rogoza – saxophone; Kaossilator Pro Mariusz Sobanski – guitars; cello Robert Bielak – violin Krzysztof Waskiewicz – bass Milosz Krauz – drums, percussion
Prolusion. The Polish band LIGHT COORPORATION was formed sometime around 2007, and aims to blend progressive rock and avant-garde jazz, featuring multimedia contents for live performances. They made their debut with "Rare Dialect" in 2011, a production that saw them attached to the UK label ReR Megacorp. "Aliens From Planet Earth" is their second full length album, and was released in the summer of 2012.
Analysis. Light Coorporation's first CD was among the more intriguing debut albums I came across in 2011, a fine blend of jazz and progressive rock with accessible and entertaining material but, despite that, firmly cemented with at least a foot inside the avant-garde realm, a blend of musical ideas that had the potential to reach and be enjoyed by a broad audience. For their follow-up production quite a lot has changed however, and besides a few line-up alterations the overall scope and style of the band have become dramatically altered. "Aliens From Planet Earth" is an aptly named disc, as the overall mood/atmosphere is one that merits a description as alien. Distant, remote, and eerie but also introspective and inward reaching. Melodies and traditional harmonies have been thrown out on this occasion, as has the majority of the elements needed to describe the music as rock. In terms of style and genre, this is a jazz production first and foremost, and an instrumental and improvisational based one at that. The material was, as I understand it, recorded at a live performance and has been released as it is, without any studio magic applied to enhance any of the performances to elevate impact or otherwise improve upon the original performance. The common features throughout are slowly moving constructions emphasizing moods and atmospheres. Careful drums and percussion are mostly limited to mellow details, with occasional surges of patterns and inserts of a more dramatic nature, the bass guitar is also used primarily for gentler and subtle details, but has also been given room for occasional dominant runs, usually as a contrasting supplement to a saxophone motif. Drums and bass both tend to stick to a mode of delivery that gives instant associations to jazz, as does the aforementioned saxophone when utilized in a regular manner. The remaining elements tend to be of a less than ordinary nature however. Slow-paced, textured instrument details by guitars, saxophone and violin are the norm rather than the exception, the string instruments also utilized for mellow plucked details that underscore the alien sounds conveyed by whatever instrument has the dominant role at the moment. Careful electronic effects are sparingly applied as additional elements, and occasionally violin, saxophone or guitar is given room and opportunity for a solo insert. The different parts of this live performance tend to come across as rather alike and uniform in overall expression, but with a great deal of variation in the subtle details department. People suffering from Arachnophobia better stay well clear of The World of Cobweb Fabric for instance, as this piece contains sounds, moods and effects that may literally creep into the darkest places of the most dramatic nightmares those with a fear of spiders occasionally experience. Light toned, nervous plucked instrument details and breathing like sounds are just two of many details that will play upon some deep, primal fears quite a substantial percentage of mankind has in that department. The music itself isn't scary as such however, it's just the associations some are likely to get that will have fear as an end result. Otherwise I'd describe this album as a mellow one, seeking out a destination well inside the mind and soul of the individual with careful, eerie and alien fragmented themes, notes and instrument details. Most impressive and striking to my mind is opening piece The Song of the Merbau Tree, featuring a bass, saxophone and electronics based theme of the kind that inspires associations to old tales of ghosts and haunted houses of the kind that is subtly creepy but otherwise more reflective and distanced than fear inducing.
Conclusion. A taste for instrumental, improvised jazz appears to be a needed prerequisite to be able to enjoy Light Coorporation's second full length album "Aliens From Planet Earth". A production that otherwise sticks to a gentle, careful expression throughout but with a few instances of arrangements incorporating a select few dramatic surges to supplement the otherwise subtle instrument details used to maintain nerve and variation. An album rather introspective in nature and reaching out to a relatively narrow audience I suspect. Still, for the select few this is a disc that will be greatly appreciated.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: June 19, 2013
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