Ninthspace review of The Last Drive In…

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Jo Gabriel: Waking The Dark NinthSpace review April 1st-

Waking The Dark sets the scene on Jo Gabriel’s album The Last Drive In – nine tracks of solitary terror. I think that’s the plan, but to my ears, using the piano as a centerpiece for such evocative ambience results in something rather beautiful although this doesn’t manifest itself until many hours after that first listen. Subsequent listens are more welcoming.

This opening piece, like all its companions, appears to pair structure with improvisation. The repeated phrases which shift key are emphasised by a subtle organ drone which follows them around, sometimes joined by strings. These movements turn incredibly pretty at times. Upsetting and unsettling this balance are occasional flourishes of keys and synth pads which draw the music back to its primary intentions.

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