Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Athlantis - Eyvind Kang (#8, 2007)

"Te quoque Maurtem aduoco, ne dedigneris tuos
hic promere scorpiones, serpentes, aspides,
viperas, hircos, hoedos, pardos, canes,
cynocephalos, apros, pantheras, lupos, onagros,
equos, hyppelaphos, vulpes, tuasque caeteras
bestias atque feras..." - Inquisitio
(Worst year ever to use lyrics for the Top Ten!)

"Andegavensis" from Athlantis (2007)

Eyvind Kang is a composer - like, that's what it says on his business card. (Probably.) But his stuff, like it or loathe it, is clearly composed... most likely with sheet music and everything. Might even be conducted too!

So there's a lot going on here, but it would have to be modernist neo-classical. (Probably.) The first section, "Ministers of Friday" has a noirish feel to it, with a menacing brass ensemble. I've gone ahead and put four of the shorter movements together in one clip, so that also includes track 2: "Vespertiliones," which gives a taste of the choir and chant and drone vocals. Above is "Andegavensis," a great place to start with its unearthly temple voices and transporting acoustic guitar. It's followed by "Rabianara," half of which is bare minimalism with Black Metal/balloon-rubbing vocals. The second half is overwhelming 2001 Monolith wig-out music.

"Inquisitio" is formed by Latinate klaxon announcements, with a congregation responding, back and forth over a slight sitar pattern. (Oh, did I mention all of the 'libretto' is in Latin? It is.) Then a glorious angelic choir emanates from the sky to round out the experience. "Ros Vespertinus" continues the beautiful lady-singing theme, this time solo with absolutely minimal accompaniment. Seriously, it might as well be a cappella. The next two sections,
"Conciliator" (a trumpet reveille) and "Iupitter" (a less hysterical Carmina Burana), are on the video with "Ministers of Friday" linked above.

"Repetito" and "Lamentatio" are aptly named. The first repeats, and the second has sorrowful wailing. I'm not sure if this project is off-putting, esoteric, challenging, or just weird - but I think it's really fascinating. I wonder what the sounds and lyrics mean, in terms of song titles and Atlantis in general. But it might spoil the mystery, the wonder. It definitely makes me want to get more Kang (he has a new album out). Anyway, the title track appears late, and is a bit of subdued and spooky minimalism (female). Followed by "Aquilas" which is subdued and foreboding minimalism (male), culminating with some horrendous screaming. The end of the great city, perhaps?

Might have to bust out my Latin dictionary and see how the epic poetry skills have held up...

Official/Myspace -
Purchase - Amazon
iTunes - Eyvind Kang

Genre - Noir-Jazz Opera-Chant Neo-Classical
Review - Tiny Mixtapes

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