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coverpic flag Mare Smythii - Full Moon 227 - 03/05/15

Bucket of Songs

Bucket of Songs by Labfield is experimental music for sure. Improv or die, or die trying. That said, this is not dangerous. You will not die listening.

Labfield is the project of Swedish guitarist David Stackenäs (of Territory Band, Seval, Fire! Orchestra) and the Norwegian percussionist Ingar Zach (of Huntsville, Dans Les Arbres, Arve Henriksen, Erik Honoré) - who are well-known names in the European improv music scene. The two have formerly been in a three-piece named Tri-Dim. When the trio folded, they started their own 'music and sound lab' doing something completely different. They wanted to 'try out a radically different approach to music'. The third musical chemist is Italian Giuseppe Ielasi (guitar and electronics), who joined Labfield in time for their second album. Their two former albums are Fish Forms (Bottrop-Boy, 2008) and Collab (Hubro, 2010). Now, for their third platter, they have invited Swedish singer Mariam Wallentin (AKA Mariam the Believer, of Wildbirds & Peacedrums and Fire! Orchestra) into their lab room. She has contributed her vocal skills on a few tracks on the album.

According to their label the band has '...expanded its palette considerably since their previous release. Whereas the focus was previously on a soundscape characterised by long, richly detailed, slowly flowing drones, this new album is more a collection of improvised songs and tunes.' Labfield drift through mysterious and hypnotic landscapes with their songs. The melodies are somewhat vague. It is the way they go there - the path they take, and how they wander it - that is the focus for their musical mission. The plucking of strings; the restless, yet relaxed rhythm patterns; the minimalist electro-noise, and the soft and mild dronery. There is a free-floating river of creativity running throughout the record. The Labfield otherworld is wild and wondrous, holding a rich and strong vein of creative improvisation. Sometimes they sound frantic and tense, but most of the time they create calming moods within some calm, meditative mode. According to their label they make music that 'sends feelers out towards pop, minimalism, electronic music and ethnic music.' Bucket of Songs holds slow-flowing, quiet musical drizzle. They can spook you with eerie sounds, but they can also caress you with delightful soundscapes. Try the loungey, laidback post-rock of "Temporary Reasons", the experimental escapism of "Intensive Course In Bad Manners", the minimalism of "The Boy Who Never Remembered To Forget", or the cool jazz-folk of "Members Crossed" (feat. Mariam). Enjoy.

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