Saturday, 22 March 2014

Glenn Kotche - Adventureland

I mentioned this album in my last post and how I was interrupted mid-listen. Well, I finally listened to the whole thing today, and it is really really good. Definitely picking this one up when it releases. What drew me to this album was the fact that it featured Kronos Quartet, who can do no wrong in my eyes. I love just about everything that they've been involved in that I have heard. Even got to see them live once and it was amazing. Side note here - Q2 music is hosting a 24 hour Kronos Quartet marathon on Monday in honour of their 40th anniversary, including a live video stream of their anniversary performance (squee!)

But, I digress. Given that I was listening for Kronos Quartet, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked some of the movements of the second piece, The Haunted, that they haven't performed on. The rhythmic interplay between the piano and percussion work really well in them and are quite delightful.

The album itself starts off with Anomaly, movement 1 (the piece written for Kronos Quartet), which is glitchy minimal goodness, but the album really gets going with the second track, the aptly named The Haunted, movement 5 - Dance. The momentum keeps up after that with Anomaly, movement 2, whose percussive elements really speak to me. There are also a couple of pieces not belonging to either The Haunted or Anomaly, which are also really good. The first of these, The Travelling Turtle, is a simple happy tinkle-y piece. The other, Triple Fantasy, is quite a bit more complex and will require at least a second listen before I can digest it.

I am always drawn to percussion, to the beats, the rhythm more than anything else in music. And with Glenn Kotche being a drummer, there is no dearth of that here. I really should check out more of his work. Maybe even give his band Wilco a listen. Always assumed they were your typical indie rock band and never bothered checking them out. But, given how good this album is, a band this man is associated is surely worth my while to at least give a chance to.

You can listen to the entire album (and read a much more coherent write up of it) here. If you don't want to commit to listening to the whole thing without a small taste first, try this first

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