Contemporary Noise Sextet

Ghostwriter's Joke

Written by: DR on 18/11/2011 17:40:26

My next series of reviews are likely to be exclusively of releases recently released via Denovali Records. There are a number of reasons for this: firstly, Denovali is a label that clearly takes pride in scouring Europe and finding some of the finest and most talented, if unconventional, musicians around; secondly, because their artists are almost always exclusively on the 'fringe', they're always interesting displays of music as an art form; thirdly, and most importantly, I have about half a dozen of their releases in my review queue.

First up, hailing from Poland, is Contemporary Noise Sextet. Having released four albums previously (both as a quintet and as a sextet), "Ghostwriter's Joke" is the fifth album in their discography thus far. Even though this band are deep into their career there are no signs of tiredness or fatigue anywhere to be found on "Ghostwriter's Joke". In fact, it's just the opposite. There's a youthful exuberance to their wise-steps, and that tells in their experimental jazz-meets-rock compositions.

The slow burning opener "Walk With Marilyn" suggests an album of drone-y, drawn-out atmospherics akin to jazz in pain. However, it's not until that song subsides and the following track, "Morning Ballet", starts that you're probably introduced to the up-tempo songs that comprise the rest of the album. Through steady drumming, the flurries of the brass-section and the groove laid down by the interplay between bass and guitar you begin to become wowed by the technical ability of CNS. Yet, it's not the sheer ability alone that impresses you - although it is magnificent - it's how all the instruments seem to be free-flowing, operating independently and possibly improvisationally, yet through all their time playing together they are obviously all on the same wavelength.

It must have taken years of practising, playing and perfecting to achieve the kind of mastery over their instruments and overall compositions that leads to songs as intoxicating and immersing as "Is That Revolution Sad?" and "Chasing Rita". But that's what "Ghostwriter's Joke" is: an expression of Contemporary Noise Sextet's undeniable talent, not just for being able to pick up and play their instruments, but to translate that ability into focused, at times majestic, song-writing.


Download: Is That Revolution Sad?, Chasing Rita
For The Fans of: Jazz music
Listen: Denovali page

Release Date 08.07.2011
Denovali Records

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