Friday, May 31, 2019

Shazad Ali Ismaily / Niels Van Heertum - Sea Legs / Hum Back [Aspen Edities 006]

Put on the circuit on May 10th, 2k19 via the Belgium-based Aspen Edities-imprint is the first ever split album collaboration by American musician Shazad Ali Ismaily and Aspen Edities-staple Niels Van Heertum. Opening with Ismaily's contribution to the album, the 20 minutes spanning cut "Sea Legs", we're entering a world of stripped down, melancholia-infused and Post-PostRock-informed banjo playing bringing forth a rarely experienced take on the instrument before taking a turn towards a minimalist shaker breakdown leading into a final crescendo of sorts. On the other hand, the four cuts subsumed under the name "Hum Back" on Niels Van Heertum's part of this release are following a different, yet still well melancholic path. Based on euphonium, euphonium organ and conch shells we see the Belgian composer go down a route of ultraminimalist Ambient beauty, providing an amalgamation of droning and pulsating sequences which are especially captivating in the intense, ancient powerhouse of a tune that is "Bowhead" which takes us way back into the subsconscious roots of humanity whereas the sequential work of "Fugu" evokes memories of various klaxon signals layered in a deep autumnal fog covering an unknown harbour before drifting of into a tender variation of minimal Jazz Noir. Deep.


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