Review | Songlines

Op 2

Rating: ★★★★

View album and artist details

Album and Artist Details

Artist/band:

Stanislav Yudin

Label:

CPL-Music

March/2020

Op 1 doesn't seem to exist, as an album anyway. But if Op 2 is anything to go by then I sincerely hope there is an Op 3. This album from the Latvian folk enthusiasts and improvisers is at the nexus of tradition and innovation and joins groups such as Širom in firmly paving the way for old sounds in the Eastern Europe of today. With double bass, vocals, a handful of traditional instruments and a plethora of guest musicians on clarinet and violin, among other instruments, the duo cover numerous timbres, from the ethereal ‘Cik Dziļa Jūra’ to the quasi-shamanic ‘Ja Na Torče’.

Each track on this release shimmers with exquisitely crafted elements, be it the delicate sparkle of chimes, the interplay of consonance and bewitching dissonance, or the power of bowed double bass tugging at your soul with the sonority usually attributed to cello. It is, overall, a gentle album, yet at times it disconcerts with atonality and trippy laughter, or expands into epic sound-worlds with thunderous pipe organ. There are minimalist influences here, and stylistic similarities with other modern Baltic-infused artists such as Merope, but this duo have gone their own way and created, perhaps, a magnum opus.

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