Thursday, February 25, 2010

Jazkamer - The Monroe Doctrine CD (review)


Label: Pica Disk
Catalog#: PICA016
Format: CD, Album
Country: Norway
Released: March 2010

The Monroe Doctrine” is the March edition of Jazkamers 2010 monthly abum series. This CD is a 30 minute track with full on noise rock free jazz improv beat hysteria. Performers are the regular four piece of Gross, Hegre, Marhaug and Drønen. Beautiful artwork by José De Diego.

To make it short, the album immediately striked me as something heavy but lovely, a full on wow-factor after just a few seconds, it knocked me way back in my seat, pushing enormous amounts of energy inside me. And it didn’t stop until the full half hour came to an end. Reviewing this CD without emotions is impossible, but I’ll try to describe some of what I heard.

It starts off with a massive wall of sound from guitar, drums, electronics, and I’m guessing, keyboards of some sort. The soundwall is heavy and loaded with bass and lower midrange frequencies, but still it is possible to hear the drums and guitar, although they are not in front of the sound image, but well blended in. Nothing is piercing, and you have to really listen carefully to separate out details. I can hear Coltrane, Hendrix, trains, traffic, cricket singing, jet fighters, blistering feedback sounds, although sometimes it is well hidden, almost subtle inside the mass. Jazkamer produces a fantastic amount of energy all the way through, they never slow down, especially the drums are pounding at an enourmous energy, speed and power.

The title made me wonder if it is meant as a political full on statement, as the original doctrine was made to stop colonising any countries of the western hemisphere. Or is it just a full on statement?

The CD is very well produced and mixed by Jørgen Træen, no noise overtakes the drums or guitars and opposite. The sound in my ears is fantastic, and very rarely noise/rock releases give me just as good experience as a live show, but “The Monroe Doctrine” really does. In fact I might have a new favourite hangover repair album. I am sad when it stops on 30 minutes sharp, and I had to go repeat…

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