Friday, August 19, 2011

Athenor – En Form For Bla (VHF Records, 2011)

A collective of musicians from the avant rock/free improvisation scene, Aethenor creates some unusual and continually fascinating soundscapes. Consisting of Stephen O’Malley, Daniel O’Sullivan, Kristoffer Rygg, and Steve Noble, the group strives to create a sound that is somewhere in the twilight nether-regions where progressive rock, ambient textures and In a Silent Way type jazz improvisation all combine and coalesce into a unique musical form. The music has a spacious beginning as the musicians grapple for purchase on the wide open sound vision, developing ominous cymbal washes that develop into a growing sound world. Electronics and smears of sound with excellent drum and percussion work move the music inexorably forward, melding in unusual squeaks and squeals of sound. As the album develops its own unique pace as the band moves through dynamic passages of moody electronics and percussion developing a great sense of mystery in the music that is never quite resolved, but hangs in the air like an unanswered question. This is a suite of music that truly defies categorization, but should be of interest to fans of avant rock and free improvisation. En Form for Bla -

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