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The Emperor has some new clothes.. - 10%

caspian, August 20th, 2008

I doubt that I'm the only one who has looked at a piece of abstract art- maybe it was a particularly strange cubist painting, perhaps it was a room with a light turning on and off every five seconds- and thought "I really don't think this means anything". Indeed, particularly abstract forms of expression- whether it's serialist music or whatever's winning the Turner prize these days- seem to be increasing the divide between the confused, bewildered public and the art intelligentsia or whatever they're called.

Now, normally I'd be willing to side with the arty folk on such issues- certainly the public as a whole can be pretty damn stupid from time to time, and "stupid nonsense" has been shown to be great art, with the benefit of hindsight- but this album is meaningless, abstraction taken way too far. In pleb speak: It's kinda shit.

You could maybe call this "really free free jazz"- and after that you'd struggle for any sort of musical description. Imagine watching a bunch of chimpanzees improvise on a bunch of jazz instruments while you have a bad trip, and you're pretty much there. Drums clatter around, there's a few moments of synths and horns, and Aethenor also seem to enjoy making various clanking and creaking noises.

..And that's all there is to this album- with the exception of the last part of the last song, a pretty effective bit of organ-y drone which saves it from a 0%. It's not a particularly surprising turn of events, this turn to the ridiculous- Aethenor's first release also had plenty of random clank 'n' drone. But where the first one managed to just balance the artiness with some sublime ambient moments, the only real purpose of this release is as a cautionary tale. Empty, meaningless, void of anything resembling substance.

That's pretty much all I have for this album. Dedicated fans of really avant garde jazz and minimal improv may like this, those who actually prefer listening to music over meaningless abstraction will find other things more worth their time.