Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Music
cover art

Adrian Klumpes

Be Still

(Leaf; US: 31 Oct 2006; UK: 23 Oct 2006)

Adrian Klumpes sounds entirely European on his debut solo release, Be Still, but he’s from Sydney, and plays piano for the jazz/electronica trio Triosk. It’s hard to imagine this restive, complex minimalism emerging from under Sydney’s harsh sun, harder still to believe it was recorded in single five-hour session. Influenced both by avant-electronica, minimal artists like Marc Leclair and Thomas Stronen and contemporary jazz, Klumpes’s music is deceptive: beneath its serene exterior is a churning alarm at the chaos of the world, reflected in perpetually repeating piano lines and occasionally clattering effects. The best tracks are beautiful (“Weave In and Out” layers unhurried sparkles of sound into a subtly changing/repeating texture that’s timeless but compelling at the same time), or really scary (“Alone” could be the soundtrack to one of those movies that scares because it’s unnervingly close to home, with splashes of effect shrouding a disjointed triangle melody). But it takes patience to concentrate through nine minutes of seemingly directionless piano jitter, which is what Klumpes subjects us to on “Unrest”. If the payoff is mood, we got it already. Still, there’s real complexity in these understated compositions, and in general, they’re worth the investment required.

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.


Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.