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Pontus Gunve: IV

In the never-ending rush and tumble of prog it's often hard to differentiate one group of worthies from another; cracking music coming in many shapes and forms, but often in a cozy fur lined box marked this sub-genre, or that. Hence when you slip Pontus Gunve's new EP into whatever music playing thingmy you choose, it comes as a refreshing burst that it doesn't immediately sound like someone, or something else. Five instrumental tracks are the contents of IV and with guitar sitting right at the front of it all, bolshy, or bullish may be the best starting point. So much so in fact that the energy and verve of "Ten" and "Red Silver" pulsates in such a way that it makes you wonder why it took you so long to recognise the skill and craft behind them.

A mash up of math-rock-prog and jazz fusion, the themes are pointed and even at times jagged, yet the fluidity of Gunve's guitar work often saves the day. However as so many instrumental outings tend to, the reliance on stretching the musical framework beyond the attention span often undoes a lot of his good work. Personally I've never been a huge fan of the Dick Dale And The Deltones number, "Misirlou", so a straight, if progged-fusioned-mathematicked version leaves me humming and staring at my feet for inspiration.

Whilst IV is fun and enjoyable, I have to suggest that had the approach this 30 minute EP adheres to been worked up into a full album, I'd pretty much be struggling to stick with it. As it is, what Pontus Gunve has created here is interesting enough to keep you invested in its method, but maybe not quite taken enough to be fully engaged in its results.

Track Listing
1. Ten
2. Misirlou
3. El Pancho's Last Journey
4. Red Silver
5. Felix

Added: June 6th 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Pontus Gunve online
Hits: 1454
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Pontus Gunve: IV
Posted by Simon Bray, SoT Staff Writer on 2016-06-06 05:50:19
My Score:

If I had written the review for this one first I am sure I would have written something very similar to what Steven Reid writes above. There is some splendid, hypnotic material on IV particularly on "Ten" which is ideal for popping on the headphones and laying back to. This track has an eastern kind of feel to it and when I close my eyes I feel like I am floating over the sub-continent marveling at the sights before just before the eight minute mark the guitars bring fire and brimstone and potentially close nirvana down. That's enough about me! Like Steven I could cheerfully never hear another version of "Misirlou" but if I had to Gunve's is quite fun and actually kept me entertained for the whole of its two and a half minute running time. I think I was more engaged throughout than Steven hence an extra half a star!

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