[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
It began with an album cover Tor designed for Leila, now there is a single out of them collaborating musically. Will there be a full length record? I damn well hope so because these two tracks are just too good to leave on their own. Drifting compositions infused by these many memories and you only get a pair of them… the world can be cruel and unfair at times. What I’m getting at is how brief it all is, much like life I suppose. Excuse me, I have to go and flip the vinyl again; I haven’t timed it out yet but I’d wager there is no more than eight or at most nine minutes of music here and the format demands constant attention.
Hazy recollections are the only focus, those half-recalled glimpses of youth a person gets when a certain mood strikes them. Oh yes, the distant pasts are grey with dust… smothered by cold and cloud. When you’re out walking under the strange lights of today, take a moment to stop and breathe in the surroundings. You may feel as though you’ve been here before but somehow everything seemed larger, you had to look up constantly to get a grasp of things. Not now though, the violet-blue hue of maturity has revealed it all. The half-whispered conversations you so wished you were privy to as a child you now know to be trivial. I suppose it’s time to move on, I don’t want to but experience only flows in one direction no matter the cost.
Side one is the revelation and side two the refraction of that knowledge. While Leila’s voice echoes around “Ibis”, Tor corrals the background and delicately coaxes a dazzling array of emotions from the lingering fog. “Quiet Seaside” is a an underwater affair crammed with Lundvall’s signature washes and delays. The intricate guitar work which Leila supplies is reverberated and then pitched downwards to achieve the effect of fingers gently moving over the feathers of a bow; I could be wrong here but this is what it sounds like to me.
Subjectivity is the underlining variable, that particular sense of intimacy which only seclusion can provide. Even though one of these pieces is a re-working of a track from her solo album, her co-conspirator has turned it into something else. It has been too long since he collaborated with another; this tiny morsel has rapidly become a favorite. Summer is dead, the ground now sleeps. But while those greens transform into the rustic shades of autumn we pause to consider our own season and just how deeply the furrow has been tilled.
Leila Abdul-Rauf & Tor Lundvall – Ibis / Quiet Seaside
Dais Records, DAIS 058
7″ Single 2014
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