Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Food, This is Not A Miracle

We linger today on the Norwegian-UK duo Food, a group who first saw the light of day in 1998 as a quartet but later paired down to the present configuration of Thomas Stronen on drums, electronics, percussion, Moog and Rhodes; and Iain Ballamy on saxophones and electronics. For their latest album, This is Not A Miracle (ECM 2417) they are joined by Christian Fennesz on guitar and electronics.

This is a most happy blend of ECM ambiance and electronics, alternatingly deeply flowing and sometimes somewhat disjunctively turbulant.

The electronics, sustained deep-welled guitar and general cavernous depths contrast with the pulsations of the drums and the saxophone's melodic-lyrical soliloquies.

What is remarkable and appealing about this album is not its virtuoso rapidity, though the drums do a bit of that now and again, but its rhapsodic, reflective space-age slowness. Worlds unfold in each selection with no hurry to get to a destination, though the 11 segments are all relatively brief. They open themselves up to your ears with careful ambient sonic design and in the end set mood without sacrificing substance.

It is music of a particularly singular way of being spacy, a way that takes us to special places where we can drift awhile, then return to our everyday life with the feeling of having dwelt in benevolent dream worlds.

It's a new space age for us to experience. Very well done and so quite recommended.

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