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Opsvik & Jennings

A Dream I Used to Remember

(Loyal; US: 26 May 2009; UK: 29 May 2009)

This album is available at the moment for free on the group’s website, and you’d be missing out if you didn’t take the time to grab it while it’s up there. This NYC-via-Oslo improvisational jazz duo has taken on board all sorts of influences in the past – from free jazz to classical to IDM electronica. So – a modern group. But the songs don’t sound tossed-off or improvisational in any way. Instead, there’s a strong sense of pop driving the rhythms and major tonalities that drift through the album. A Dream I Used to Remember is in this way even more accessible than their 2007 album Commuter Anthems, which occasionally veered towards atonality or electronica. Here, the atmosphere is completely organic, and rather resembles Grizzly Bear much of the time (that’s a great thing). Listen especially for “Canada”, a gorgeous, rattling accumulation of what might have been incidentally-discovered sound; or “Windswept”, more complex and more compelling, drawing out a looped syncopation into Western-inspired chug. Like Battles somehow blissed-out and sedated, Opsvik & Jennings start from a single rhythm and end up with an instrumental album of exquisite pop deconstruction.

Rating:

Dan Raper has been writing about music for PopMatters since 2005. Prior to that he did the same thing for his college newspaper and for his school newspaper before that. Of course he also writes fiction, though his only published work is entitled "Gamma-secretase exists on the plasma membrane as an intact complex that accepts substrates and effects intramembrane cleavage". He is currently studying medicine at the University of Sydney, Australia.


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Opsvik and Jennings - "A Dream I Used to Remember"
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