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Album Review THIN LIPS-Karen Alkalay-Gut, Roy Yarkoni, Ishay Sommer :: Maelstrom :: Issue No 27
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9.5/10 Avi
 

THIN LIPS - Karen Alkalay-Gut, Roy Yarkoni, Ishay Sommer - CD - Pookh Music - 2004

review by: Avi Shaked

Two leading figures of the Israel progressive music scene, Roy Yarkoni and Ishay Sommer (both are also members of Ahvak), joined forces with poet Karen Alkalay-Gut, as well as a handful of guest musicians (percussionist Yatziv Caspi, who also records with Orphaned Land, contributes his skills to one track, and is an essential component of their live performance) resulting in one of the most refreshingly original and interesting recordings in recent memory.

Alkalay-Gut performs her modern poetry convincingly and passionately, whether she is describing relationships and urges, everyday life or revisiting historical scenes. Her performance brings Laurie Anderson's performance art to mind, but the music found here is less minimalist than Anderson's music usually is, with nearly every track having its own distinctive voice and a suitable musical landscape that draw the spoken words.

When Alkalay-Gut talks of the British Holborn Station, the ground shakes beneath you as metallic guitars roar, introducing a Rock In Opposition (a movement of modern progressive music)-inspired composition, with gentle vibes, quirky keyboards and giggling bass. Then, when she brings an amusing, unpopular perspective on a biblical story on "Joseph And I," the keyboards shed an Egyptian flavor, later supported by appropriate oriental percussion.

On "Cellular Phone," things sound more futuristic and alien-oriented, not to mention digital; "To the Muse" recalls Yarkoni's solo debut in its rhythmical loops and electronica, while "Kitchen" adds theatrical drama to the equation.

Still, the tracks all have a collective spine in the form of playful keyboards and electronics, meaty bass work and expressive vocals, which turns them into a spectacular, accessible yet uncompromising mosaic that just drips with passion.

Thin Lips is a circus full of attractions and surprising tricks, and no matter how many times you revisit it, it remains ear-catching and arousing. This is progressive music at its best. (9.5/10)

 

All related articles (interviews, live, from the vault)
 

 

ISSUE 27
ALBUM REVIEWS

(A-G)  (H-K)  (L-S)  (S-W)

STORMLORD
The Gorgon Cult

SUIDAKRA
Signs for the F

SUN DESCENDS
Kanun-Law

THIN LIPS
Karen Alkalay-G

TIME MACHINE
Reviviscence, L

ULYSSES
010

WHITMAN, KEITH ...
Sh

WINTERSUN
Wintersun

All Rights Reserved 2004.