First, they brought to life a modern masterpiece by David Lang. Then, they revitalized a classic of the avant-garde concert hall with Steve Reich's "Drumming." Now, So Percussion proves they can stand on their own 8 feet by writing, engineering, and producing their own original work, "Amid the Noise."
The result must be heard to be believed. What it is, is a brilliant fusion of acoustic instruments with electronic processing. Metallic keyboard instruments ring out long overtones in wide intervals and tonal clusters, bowed vibes sing out haunting incantations, and yes, electronica fans, there are beats. Sick beats.
SO pulls from a wide range of influences here, but the end result is truly their own. There are moments of ethereal soundscapes reminiscent of Noel Akchote's "Rien," or more familiarly, the work of Brian Eno. Unobtrustive but energetic microbeats bear semblance to Bjork's "Vespertine," undoubtedly due to SO's recent affiliation with Matmos. The longest track, "Go," opens with frenetic, repetitive melodic fragments in fits and starts, harkening back to "Cheating, Lying, Stealing" by David Lang, a seminal figure in the group's career.
Regardless of influence, this album is truly unique, and of the utmost in creativity, musicianship, and production quality. What astounds me is these relatively young artists' ability to tastefully avoid cliche. Though this album is very electronica-inspired, the use of breakbeat is done sparingly, appropriately, and creatively. You're not going to hear every track bogged down with some cheap, lab-produced beat. The beats are performed live, and are tastefully syncopated, avoiding the easy 4/4 pattern with creative assymetrical meters.Read more ›
I love So Percussion, yet I don't feel qualified to write a descriptive review of this music. Mr. Madeira has written an excellent and very articulate review and I concur with everything he said. This music is so sublime that it is hard to do it justice with mere words. It really must be heard. That said, I would not hestitate to buy more works by So Percussion. They have been a great find for me. It's music that transports me to another dimension. Listening while driving can be very calming, especially in traffic, but I think it is best experienced in the comfort and confines of your own personal happy space. Enjoy!
Was this review helpful to you?