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TRACK LIST: 1. Origin of Water 6:07 2. Primary Colors 5:24 3. Half-Asleep 3:57 4. Wandering 7:21 5. Expressionism at Night 5:58 6. Flying and the Silence 6:01 7. Between the Trees 5:21 8. Lost in a Leaf 5:32 9. Two Types of Awakenings 5:04 10. Recurring Dream 7:07 SOLO PILOT: Massimo Discepoli – drums; keyboards; bass, guitars
Prolusion. The Italian project NHEAP is the creative vehicle of composer and musician Massimo Discepoli, a project that started back in 2007 and has issued five full-length studio CDs since then. "Flying and the Silence" is the most recent of these, and was released through Discepoli’s own Acustronica label in 2013.
Analysis. Nheap is a project that doesn't quite fit inside the normal confines of progressive rock. Then again, it doesn't make a good fit for any other style of music either, as this is a project that first and foremost crosses musical boundaries and blends stylistic details rather than honing in on a particular sound or style. A key word may be ambient, although a kind of ambient that is rather far removed from new age and similar kinds of music. The stylistic foundation of Nheap can, arguably, be placed in jazz. Jazz-tinged drum patterns in particular are a common feature, the supporting bass motifs also tends to have a jazz-oriented tinge to them, and the piano details and wandering piano motifs, liberally employed throughout, also come across as jazz-inspired or oriented in that direction more often than not. Rarely in a manner that can be described as expressive however; instead, the delivery is a careful and deliberate one throughout. Occasional acoustic or electric guitars flavor the proceedings here and there, while a more ever-present feature is floating, surging or fluttering electronic textures. In the shape of cold, almost cosmic sound layers, echoing glockenspiel like effects, and most of all as nervous surging or droning textures. Sometimes with a more noise oriented quality, at other times with a nervous, textured effect that is fairly similar to ones encountered in artists that define themselves as post rock. This all blends into fairly ambient excursions. Dream-laden affairs, careful and deliberate constructions that shy away from stark contrasts and dramatic effects, staying put in a pleasant, compelling and surprisingly warm atmosphere. The arrangements aren't without challenging features either, the compositions do alter and change in their careful journeys, but in subtle manners and mainly by careful, minute details added, subtracted or changing character ever so softly. Those fond of material of a somewhat more challenging nature can enjoy the rather expressive four-part creation Expressionism at Night, while those with a stronger taste for material of a more experimental and drone or noise oriented nature should get their fill on concluding track Recurring Dream.
Conclusion. "Flying and the Silence" may be described as an ambient-oriented blend of jazz, electronica and post rock, with a bit more emphasis on the former than the latter two, but without really residing inside the core of any specific style. Dream-laden and careful material, relaxing but also compelling and intriguing in a deliberate and careful manner. A production that should also appeal to a crowd that normally don't listen to jazz. An album that merits an inspection by those fond of music careful in expression and curious about the end result, when electronic music, post rock and jazz all are used to supply stylistic details to a dream-laden musical landscape.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: November 21, 2014
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