Call for Music Writers... Rock, Indie, Urban, Electronic, Americana, Metal, World and More

Music
cover art

Poolplayers

Way Below the Surface

(Songlines; US: 8 Apr 2008; UK: 7 Apr 2008)

Atmosphere, baby—smoke and mist and the camera moving slowly in dim light. Colors shifting and unidentifiable flickers of light. You’ve seen this movie—what music ought to go with it? Some tumbles of drums—brushes in neo-noir pifffff-ing against snare. Electronics that fill the void in a mystical way, but nothing to clear, please. The tinkle of piano as if from another room—NO, another galaxy, another time. Trumpet, but not trumpet. Muted or aching or… like Miles Davis but not too soulful. Like the highlands. Like Paris at night.


Here are the musicians: Arve Henriksen on trumpet, vocals; Benoit Delbecq on piano; Lars Juul on drums; Steve Arguelles on who knows what—“Usine, delays, Sherman filter”—which I guess means really cool electronics and production stuff. For jazz fans, this sounds a bit like an ECM record, with a Scandinavian chill of indecisive ruling most tunes as the musicians improvise for texture and (say the liner notes) “nebulous sonic territories”. It’s a kind chill music, maybe—something to dig when life just doesn’t seem ominous enough. It’s the stuff they put beneath really weird stories on This American Life, maybe, or the music you would pad beneath your celluloid hero as he walks down an alley. In Norway. Or Paris. Or in whatever pretentious locale you may choose.

Rating:

Will Layman is a writer, teacher and musician living in the Washington, DC area. He is a contributor to National Public Radio and frequently appears as a guest on WNYC's "Soundcheck" as a jazz critic. He plays both funk and jazz in the bars and clubs in and near the nation's capital. His fiction and humor appear in print and online.


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.