Friday, August 22, 2014

Loving ... "Tales from Urban" by Zenjungle & Tunedin52

I use the term ’progressive’ broadly when it comes to music ... I use it to define sounds that develop, that try new things, that surprise me with their twists and turns.

For me, progressive is an ideal word to describe "Tales from Urban" by Zenjungle & Tunedin52, an album filled with delightfully experimental ambient soundscapes that underpin Zenjungle's beloved saxaphonics (yes, I just made up a word).

The combination of Zenjungle & Tunedin52 suggests something rich, vibrant, varied, challenging ... something interesting & engaging ... I was not disappointed, "Tales from Urban" is all that and more.

According to the notes on Bandcamp ... John Daly aka Tunedin52 plays the baritone and acoustic guitar, ebow, and percussion ... whilst providing noises, glitches, loops, and field recordings too. Where as Phil Gardelis aka Zenjungle plays his distinctive tenor and soprano saxophones ... and also brings loops, noises, synths, voice, and field recordings to the table ... he also mixed and mastered the album too.

It is food for the brain, great late at night or when you need to let your subconscious off the lead for a wee while. It is a wonderfully immersive album, a warm duvet of sound in which I could fully relax.

I won't lie to you, however ... this isn't exactly easy listening ... especially for the uninitiated. I was already familiar with Zenjungle through his fab release on Twice Removed. I knew what to expect. I was, however, blown away with the progressive soundscapes the partnership have created together.

Some tracks are more instantly gratifying, such as "Pavement Play" with it's electroacoustic free jazz being more of a soundtrack that simply a soundscape. The saxophonics on this track are phenomenal - think late night jazz but with an ambient twist, and an intoxicating bass.

Whereas other tracks, such as "We'll return to another place" with it's ominous, heavy tone and slow moving presentation ... or "Timetouch" with it's multi-layered jazz fusion expression and field recordings may take a wee while longer to get.

I, for one, am glad I held out ... "Tales from Urban" by Zenjungle & Tunedin52 really does tick my boxes. They are doing something new and seeking to move ambient music forward. I welcome that as I welcome their efforts on this release. I have thoroughly enjoyed it & would highly recommend their particular form of progressive music.


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