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Press Reviews for Ekvílibríum

Every once in a while, a lovely "commercial" release comes forth on the reviewer's desk, only to be declared "not exactly commercial" after two or three listenings. Let me be perfectly clear: throughout my life I've been loving pop records like no one can - I mean, the really good ones - therefore I'm never averse to one hour of divertissement placed in between torrents of earth loops and cascades of stridency. Valgeir Sigurðsson's CD, though, reveals a touch of obliqueness amidst the most relaxing materials that transforms every session in a refreshing discovery of new particulars that you missed the previous time. Ten tracks, six instrumentals and four with vocalists (Bonnie Prince Billy, Dawn McCarthy and J.Walker/Machine Translations), whose skeleton at times looks techno-fied almost to the excess (like in the opener "A symmetry") yet designed with millimetric precision and care for the microscopic detail that go along very well with delicate, warmly wrapping string arrangements, my overall favourite being heard in "Evolution of Waters" (in this case by the author himself, while in "Winter sleep" and "Kin" they were penned by the excellent Nico Muhly, who plays in these and other pieces of the album). This "natural-but-strange-anyway" aura takes the sophistication factor out of the equation, so that "Ekvílíbrium" can be roughly defined as a mixture of Scott Walker, Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Pastels and (put your drum'n'bass choice name here) with crippled overtones appearing in selected moments, as to remind us that sugar and honey aren't necessary.

Touching Extremes

Touching Extremes (April 2nd 2010)

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