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Food: This Is Not A Miracle

It's often said to me by my more rock and prog oriented friends… 'I don't like jazz, how can you review that'? As often as not, my answer is something along the lines of 'jazz is so varied, how can you write it all off when you've hardly heard any'? And as if to prove the point here we have the quarter, whittled down to a core duo of Iain Ballamy and Thomas Strønen, called Food. Although for their This Is Not A Miracle album, Christian Fennesz who provides more in the way of electronics and guitar, appears to augment the duo.

The results are jazz, that's what they call this and yet for most they wouldn't even consider to think it so. Instead this is atmospheric, unsettling, electronica with some brass and other acoustic instruments. We're almost in film noire territory, so dense and unforgiving is the air, so melancholic the mood and yet This Is Not A Miracle is cutting edge, on the edge and in places trickling over those edges in despair. However it's the music's despair, not yours, the engaging yet challenging percussive ticks and cracks consistently the leading light as the instrumental music tries to convey a message that it knows by heart but doesn't want to share too easily. Instead the themes are hinted at and skirted round in such intentional manner that the journey becomes almost more exciting than arriving at its end.

Enigmatic may be a good description, but never in that nonchalant manner, never turning its nose up, never too clever to let you in and get comfortable. However the inner depth always remains tantalisingly out of reach, leaving you to constantly dig deeper for answers craved and experiences had. The album itself flows as one, the pieces contained far greater as a continuous feast than as individual morsels. However this Food is no party, it's not a celebration, it's not an aroma to call people in from the streets in hope of nourishment. Instead this is a lone pleasure, something to be savoured in the dark moments when you crave no company other than your own. In these circumstances, This Is Not A Miracle proves quite miraculous.

Track Listing
1. First Sorrow
2. Where Dry Desert Ends
3. This Is Not A Miracle
4. The Concept Of Density
5. Sinking Gardens Of Babylon
6. Death Of Niger
7. Exposed To Frost
8. Earthly Carriage
9. Age Of Innocence
10. The Grain Mill
11. Without The Laws

Added: December 12th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Food at
Hits: 1360
Language: english

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