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8/10 Avi
 

EMPTY DAYS - Empty Days - CD - Altrock - 2013

This debut release Empty Days finds the versatile leader Franceso Zago (of Yugen and  Spaltklang) continuing his exploration of the vast territories explored by Robert Fripp (check out our review of the latest Zauss album in the previous issue), and here he focuses on expanding the restrained yet full of subtleties, ambient envelope which was introduced in the 70s releases of Fripp & Eno.

Unlike Fripp & Eno, though, this modern music offering relies significantly on songs, with just a few instrumental pieces, as well as on the use of varied instruments (there are four other players listed supporting Zago with keyboard and percussive instruments). Vocalist Elain Di Falco (Caveman Shoestore) sings on most of the songs, with a reserved, disciplined performance which bears just the slight warmth to shine through while faithfully reflecting the minimalistic music and its atmosphere.

On the fifth track, something interesting happens. The context of Di Falco's laid back performance and the overall calm but reflective and occasionally dangerous soundscapes is contrasted with a breathtaking performance of John Dowland's classical music vocal piece "Flow My Tears." Zago's sneaky guitar line is there but it's Rachel O'Brien who handles the vocals. We are no suckers for classical music styled vocals, but O'Brien manages to harness her classical training for pronouncing the lyrics not only with articulation and beauty but also with chilling emotion, shining with her manifestation of grief. (8/10)

[The foundations for this review appeared in our Facebook blog Gut Feeling. Check it out!]

 

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ISSUE 75
ALBUM REVIEWS

(B-D)  (D-G)  (G-H)  (I-M)  (M-S)  (S-T)  (U-Y)

BLACK OATH
Ov Qliphoth and

BLODHEMN
Brenn Alle Brue

BROMHAM, DEL
Nine Yards

CATARRHAL
Fleshgrave

CLARK-HUTCHINSO...
A=MH^2 (Reissue

DAMNATIONS HAMM...
Disciples Of Th

DEATHSTORM
As Death Awakes

DECKCHAIR POETS
Who Needs Pyjam

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