Vladislav Delay Quartet ‎– Vladislav Delay Quartet




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July 9, 2011
edited over 8 years ago
referencing Vladislav Delay Quartet, CD, Album, HJRCD56
I definitely enjoyed this album. The audio samples above will inform you more than my description could; suffice it to say this ain't the new Coldplay single. However despite initial impressions, I would go so far as to call this a fairly melodious record. It's quite noisy and droney, but still in a way that is fairly pleasing to the ears.

Isn't this supposed to be a jazz quartet? Yes, and in their debut VDQ never let you forget that their music is, fundamentally, jazz. An upright bass is almost always present, and at several times a saxophone comes to the forefront to deliver a wailing, yet strangely bleak solo (not that this is a bad thing, necessarily) - as in the strong first track. Even the buzzing electronics match this ensemble very well, maintaining this mood throughout. That's not something most people could pull off.

Another thing about this album is the percussion (apparently handled by Sasu Ripatti himself). Not always present, but when it is it's attention-drawing for sure - it sounds wild and improvised, but in a measured way. (Reminding me of the drone/metal band Njiijn - a good thing, as that is perhaps my favorite part of that project.) A couple tracks even have "beats" (see "Louhos"). Strange beats.

Favorite tracks include the opener, Hohtokivi, Presentiment (this one has a vibe that reminds me of country music, of all things!), and the beautiful closer "Salt Flat". This is a pretty consistently strong album from start to finish, though, and there isn't really a low point. (Unless you dislike it, in which case you will probably *really* dislike it.)

The main reason why this strong album still didn't shock and amaze me was because after 3 or 4 listens, I had the hang of things. There were no surprises upon repeated listens, no layers of emotional/technical depth to peel away like on, for example, sunn o)))'s "Monoliths and Dimensions." This may be a result of what I can only assume was an improvisational approach (at least partially? not sure). Nevertheless, I'll be returning to this one in the future for sure.