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SOUND LIBERATION – Open Up Your Ears and Get Some (Col Legno)

Posted: May 1st, 2009, by Pascal Ansell

Terrific title, dubious album. New York’s self-proclaimed chamber ensemble/band declare their existence with the objective to “end the segregation of sound vibration”. Idealistic? Quixotic? Proof and pudding situation: essentially this means freeing all genres, tossing about with the sound and seeing what happens.

Sound Liberation try their hand at a wildly ambitious number of genres: crap happy-clappy rock, urban rap, soul and straight-down-the-line pop, as well as chucking in token world and jazz for good measure. This has to be the most incoherent album I’ve ever heard. It’s in the latter styles that Sound Liberation are finally listenable, feeling far more at home with jittery klezmer nonsense and moody modern jazz.

Things really fall apart with Xzibit-esque rapping that doesn’t just border on but wilfully tramples around embarrassing. However, this album is worth your attention for its instrumental sections. Where a lot of the album sounds horridly confused there is a shimmer of class not evident throughout. ‘Let Go of my Soul’ is fantastic – a subtle, reserved but charged tour though a fast-paced techno landscape. Other winners expose trumpets, whirling John McGloughlin-esque guitar and smooth bass lines competing for space.

Things are best when the rappers shut their gobs and let the 16-strong band take you for a ride. This may be the Sound Liberation but a few shackles would do this motley bunch a world of good.

Sound Liberation

Col Legno

Pascal Ansell

Pascal Ansell

Pascal is a fearsome, hungry giant trapped in the body of a hyperactive boy. On a mission to waste no more than 14 seconds per day, he bounds from activity to activity like a deer being chased by a cheetah. Follow him now, as in ten year's time he'll be a leading voice in something or other. He's also writing down every word you say in a small book so watch out!


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