Sierpinski – This Geography of Ours (Jonathon Whiskey, 2002)

This Geography of Ours

CD Jonathon Whiskey Jehovah Whiskey 39 (UK, 05-2002)

01. Wireless
02. From Sunday
03. Invitation to Smile
04. Unreasonable Offer
05. Chocolate
06. Liegnitz
07. Scrapbook
08. Death of a Dancer
09. Nobody Thinks Like We Do

Waclaw Sierpinski was a Polish mathematician whose name has been given to a beautifully simple but many layered pattern called the Sierpinski Triangle. Sierpinksi is the name adopted by a group of four Leeds musicians with international standing and a serious future ahead of them Clare Loughran, Lee Hooper, Mathew Robson and Christian Townsley.
Their new album « this geography of ours », however you listen to it, is simply a magnificent recording. Issued by Phil Norman’s astute and very collectable Jonathon Whiskey label, it contains nine pieces. Between two and a half and seven minutes each, they move with a consistently serene and delicious melancholy. Each piece at a time brings its own musical world with complex textures, subtle dynamics and wonderfully open harmonic shapes.
At times they sound like affectionate friends improvising gently around a central figure that passes from one instrument to another – piano, guitar, bass and drums (oh, and bowed glockenspiel too). At times the programmer’s craft weaves samples, ambience and synth sounds into sparklingly singular mood pieces. Everywhere these aspects blend naturally and confidently. Changes keep on ringing. The listener’s imagination can move through as many worlds as there are triangles in Sierpinski’s fractal.
The upright bass is a glorious warm heart in a music that is immediately accessible and intensely rich. Play it over and over, and be surprised at every turn at deeper and deeper levels of subtlety. This is no fringe music for people who only listen with their right brain, living in hope of being the new intelligentsia. This is brilliantly engaging music that knows it has something important to convey. Don’t be nervous. It will treat you gently.
Whatever else you like (even you crazy rawk kids), buy this CD as soon as you can, and let it fondle your goose bumps whenever you need the chill. Amazing.
(Sam Saunders, Leeds Music Scene)

The drummer for Sierpinski appeared on Hood’s 2001 EP Home Is Where It Hurts and the new, more electronic, stuttering direction begun by Hood with this EP is in many ways sympathetic to the music of Sierpinski. The texture of the music is consistently blurred and hazy, but this distant, aged landscape is punctuated by the brittlest of electronic accents. This contrast is particularly apparent on the third track « Invitation to Smile. » Distant drones, smooth guitar chords, and the occasional piano tinkle blend behind tinny electronic stutters, mangled vocal samples and thin beats.
This contrast is less apparent on some tracks where the simpler, warmer textures are allowed to stand on their own such as on « Unreasonable Offer. » Guitar, and piano and acoustic drums complete a pleasantly warm, but not bland composition that, while less varied, still complements the more complex elements of the album.
The dichotomy of electric and acoustic, hazy and sharp explored on This Geography of Ours is not undiscovered country, however, Sierpinski achieves a level of competency in this exploration that is uncommon. The album creates a balance between stuttering electronic experimentation and conventional acoustic song writing that can be tenuous, but never becomes overwrought. Ultimately, however, it is not the tension created by this relationship that is striking, but its remarkable cohesiveness.
(Pete Baumann, Fakejazz)

Disque de chevet dans le voisinage de Movietone ou du Hood de Rustic Houses Forlorn Valleys (si ça vous parle). Voilà.

Visit Sierpinski or Jonathon Whiskey

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Un commentaire pour Sierpinski – This Geography of Ours (Jonathon Whiskey, 2002)

  1. docteurorlof dit :

    Mathew Robson’s other project Random Number’s I Understand your Date and Time of Nowhere (Rocket Racer) was posted here in august:
    (explore the archives for details)

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