After their riveting and extraordinary album Thoughtscanning of last year, the appetite for something more from We All Die (laughing) has been the epitome of hunger. It is a want and need now richly satisfied by the band’s new offering, the Tentoonstelling EP, well certainly by half of it. Consisting of two tracks, one from the duo of Déhà (Maladie, COAG) and Arno Strobl (Carnival In Coal, 6:33) and a second piece by Mathieu Drouet, a French photographer for whom We All Die (laughing) composed the lead track, it is a provocative encounter of instrumental temptation which pushes the imagination into dark and sinister landscapes.
When asked by Drouet to contribute a track to a contemporary art project for his Grande Plage exhibition planned for January 2015, We All Die (laughing) crafted the instrumental Variation on the scanning of thoughts, a piece inspired by and a companion to the band’s extraordinary one track album. The exhibition itself is based on photography of Drouet which the artist ‘considers worth being used as cover artwork for music releases’. Consisting of twelve pieces, he chose a similar number of bands to contribute a track (also including The Lumberjack Feedback) of which a single copy 12″ EP would be released with one of his pictures as the artwork along with an’ experimental audio rendition of the photography’s digital file’s data’, basically an aural portrait of the picture cloaking the release.
Variation on the scanning of thoughts is a piano sculpted exploration, a shadowed and brooding suggestiveness which wraps seductively around the senses and imagination whilst soaking both with melancholic expression. Noir lit jazz scenery colours the evocative canvas throughout whilst sharing hues with a more choral persuasion, their entwining suggestiveness a haunting embrace within the oppressive atmosphere. The press release with the EP declares the track as more depressive than the band’s adventure upon Thoughtscanning which is easy to agree with, yet as the music permeates ears and emotions there is also an imposing beauty and stark elegance which ignites the warmth of hope in song and reactions. As always with the band, it is a healthily long piece which provides a template for the listener’s imagination to fill and colour whilst emotionally it is a provocation which is as cinematic in drama as it is intimate.
The following Grande Plage, OP. 1, Movement #1: Le Noir from Drouet is the complete opposite and whilst you can understand and respect its breeding, the track is an underwhelming challenge. A sonic expanse of electronic smog, a static wave which ebbs and flows but makes for a constant irritant, the track is a ten minute excuse to return to the majesty of its predecessor. Again it is a piece which will inspire or push away individual thoughts and imaginations, with ours unreceptive, but it is a pale if initially intriguing companion against the magnificence of the lead track and the musical alchemy of We All Die (laughing).
Tentoonstelling is available now Kaotoxin Records @ via http://listen.kaotoxin.com/album/tentoonstelling
Check out the excellent photography of Mathieu Drouet @ http://www.mathieu-drouet.com/
For the track Variation on the scanning of thoughts 10/10
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