Jan Bang - ...And Poppies from Kandahar

Samadhisound # sound cd ss018 [CD]

Pre-order: to be released on 25.05.10. Please note that your order will be charged at time of purchase, but the entire order will not ship until the release date of the 24th of May.

1. The Drug Mule
2. Self Injury
3. The Midwife’s Dilemma
4. Passport Control
5. Who Grooms The Child?
6. Heidegger’s Silence
7. Abdication And Coronation
8. Suicide Bomber
9. Taking Life
10. Ululations
11. Exile From Paradise

Jan Bang’s first album under his own name, evokes a powerful sense of place – but it’s not a place you would recognize, or ever expect to find. A descendent of Jon Hassell’s “fourth world” concept, it sketches scenes of struggle and malice, in locales both primitive and urbane. As a producer, Bang stitches it together like a patchwork atlas and then makes the seams disappear: live recordings and studio constructions, old samples and new solos come together to form an exquisite whole.

Bang recruits a cast of collaborators from Norway and beyond, who will be familiar to anyone who’s followed his recent productions: trumpeter and vocalist Arve Henriksen, whose albums Cartography and Chiaroscuro were co-produced by Bang; the stunning vocalist Sidsel Endresen, whose captivating turn on “The Midwife’s Dilemma” grows out of a moan and a half-croak; and samadhisound founder David Sylvian, who wrote the titles for each piece and the album as a whole, setting these abstract scenes in a disruptive context.

The sounds on … And Poppies From Kandahar come from the studio and the stage, close-mic’d instruments and field recordings, the clank of a bottle and the grandeur of an orchestra. Says Bang, “As a ‘samplist’ I collect sounds that may become useful in other situations. It´s much like collecting sand shells without knowing how to use them – just keeping them because of their pure beauty.”

The result transcends idiom or genre. A sample of guitarist Eivind Aarset clicks over humble handclaps on “The Midwife’s Dilemma”; trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær solos over a melody by Robert Schumann. “Self Injury” is a hybrid of live and studio tapes, where upright bass casts a pall over Arve Henriksen’s monastic falsetto. And “Passport Control” excerpts “Gammler Zen + Hohe Berge” by Germany’s Kammerflimmer Kollektief, marrying its urgent tempo to wary brass.

The conclusion, “Exile from Paradise,” is a performance of Sidsel Endresen’s “Undertow” that was taped at Punkt Festival 2008 – and that features Jon Hassell on trumpet. “To me, Jon is one of the most important philosophers of our time. I can hear his influence in a lot of people's work, including my own.”


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Jan Bang - ...And Poppies from Kandahar

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