Drummer Magazine - Steve Jansen "The Occurrence Of Slope" (DVD)

11.05.09

4/5 Stars

Filmed in Tokyo just over a year ago, Ex-Japan drummer Jansen accompanied by guitarist Keigo Oyamada, keyboardist Masakatsu Takagi and a string quartet play Jansen's 'Slope' album in it's entirety followed by the minimalist 'Swimming In Qualia' and it is as much an audio visual event as a concert. 'Slope' features six different vocalists whose appearances are 'virtual' on a giant screen behind the musicians and as the players walk on stage their names appear like a credit of a film on the screen. As the introduction music gives way to the first piece 'Grip', we see Jansen initially behind his keyboard and laptop but moving over to his minimal electronic kit for some percussive activity as the piece unfolds into a mellow kind of drum and bass. Sweet Billy Pilgrim's Tim Elsenburg delivers the first vocal on the haunting 'Sleepyard' with it's laid back 7/8 groove, followed by Anja Garbarek on the 'six on the floor' feel of 'Cancelled Pieces' and the hypnotic instrumental 'December Train'. The sombre yet haunting 'Playground Martyrs' features Jansen's brother David Sylvian on vocals while 'Ballad Of A Deadman', probably the most upbeat track here, features the duo of Sylvian and Joan Wasser (of 'Joan As Police Woman'). Jansen's drumming serves to support his music, which is often melancholic and as much about atmosphere and texture as rhythm but the overall effect is totally captivating. If he plays the UK, I will definitely be there.

BRENT KEEFE



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