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Friday, June 18, 2010

UMA Hymn To Undiscovered Land

Hymn To Undiscovered Land

The second album from this Estonian duo of guitarist Robert Jürjendal and trumpet player
Aleksei Saks has them joined by ace percussionist Andi Pupato (on loan from the ECM- label band, Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin). If this instrumentation suggests to you a somewhat spartan jazzy affair then you’d be dead wrong.

Liberal use of midi-technology has this album of carefully constructed bitter-sweet compositions lovingly immersed in gorgeous ambient washes that Brian Eno or Pat Metheny would give their left oscillators for.

Across its 40 minutes, minimalist pulses and wafting echoes of stratospheric trumpet build with a beguiling, dreamy, elegance that is utterly mesmerising. Brimming with a lyrical sensuality, Jürjendal’s intricate guitar work provides some entrancing structures through which the bell-like clarity of Saks’ soaring brass shines.

There are occasional sorties into more abstract territories but Pupato’s arsenal of spiky interventions and unsettling sub-sonic rumbles ensures there’s never any danger of nodding off. Guest vocalist, No-Man’s Tim Bowness, provides an almost reproachful presence amidst the title track’s shimmering clouds.

The fact that it’s not quite jazz, post-rock, art-rock, ambient or even electronica, matters not one jot when music is as effortlessly inventive or as exquisite as this.

Get this album here

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