"..."

Transcendence

Written by: DR on 16/03/2010 20:13:12

Sometimes you can tell a lot by a band from just their name because there's usually a trend that runs through genres. For instance, the "scene" scene has a lot of bands with three-word names, the indie scene has many bands whose names begin with "the", and the slightly poetic four-word name is fairly common within the post-rock community. The name "..." reveals nothing. It makes you want to listen and find out, doesn't it?

Somewhat surprisingly, "..." is only one man, Jakob Lindhagen. That man had barely turned 20 at the time of release. "Transcendence" is this lone wolf's debut, and it's a fairly adventurous take on ambient post-rock. There are five songs, all written and recorded by this one man. Did I mention that there is only one person behind "..."? And he's only 20! I probably did, but see, I can't quite believe it, especially when you look at what instruments he plays more than capably: there are guitars, drums, pianos, electronics, and even a glockenspiel.

A lot of post-rock, particularly artists early in their careers, tends to be guitar driven, aiming for the crescendo. This is not. Instead of trying to be "big", shooting for the bold finish, Jakob has decided to try and create an atmosphere with each song. There's more than a degree of ambition here - which is something the genre needs more of. However, that old saying "ambition is the enemy of success" has aptness here. The poorly produced piano-only "Vienna Waltz" is a misguided attempt at being sombre and melancholic. "Part II" doesn't compensate either with the first few buzzing and irritating minutes; that is until the guitar starts, resembling "Villa Del Refugio" - building and building towards an eruption that never arrives. That song then flows right into "Please Talk To Me", taking two and half minutes to excuse itself. Why Jakob does this, I do not know. It doesn't fit in with the song at all, and is actually rather annoying. Thankfully, the next track "Listen" isn't spoilt by this feature. Imagine "The Earth Is Not A Cold Place"-era Explosions in the Sky, but in less of a rush, and less of a flurry. "Stranded" ends the album with an ambient and dainty piece that even Sigur Ros would be proud of.

The track by track breakdown isn't something I've ever really done before, but I feel that it's needed because this album, though only five songs, features a wide range of style that makes it hard to judge as a cohesive work. There are things done with all the necessary craft and guile, and others that just don't quite work - a hallmark of young artists with potential trying to find their feet. In any case, the one man show that is Jakob Lindhagen has managed to create a few "wow" moments, which are enough to make this worth listening to.

7

Download: Listen; Stranded
For The Fans of: Mogwai; Moonlit Sailor; Sigur Ros; Explosions in the Sky
Listen: Myspace

Release Date December 2009
Self Released

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