Jet Black Sea is a project of Adrian Jones, leader of Nine Stones Close, and Michel Simons a friend of Adrian's whom he met on a forum of The Pineapple Thief. While working on One Eye On The Sunrise (2012, see review), the latest album by Nine Stones Close, some of the musical ideas and some pieces of music with a different atmosphere didn't suit the album. Both musicians agreed to work on these ideas and within no time the project grew from a few songs to a complete album.
The electronic, ambient vibes of the instrumental compositions definitely have their own identity, although Jones's distinctive guitar sound can be recognized throughout. His solos in the vein of David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) come straight from the heart. That is what makes this album so special: the ambient atmosphere and the use of seemingly cold electronic soundscapes work out fine together. Some tracks, like the opening piece The Path Of Least Existence, part I, have sampled choruses which are used to create the right atmosphere; others tend more toward post rock, including the heavily distorted guitar sounds.
The individual songs on the album seem to be woven into one long and dreamy composition with doors in between in order to find a fierce and astonishing guitar solo behind one door and beautiful piano playing behind another, but always connected to the same dream. I think the combination of electronics, well-assorted guitar sounds and piano is very strong, which should appeal to fans of Robert Fripp's soundscapes, but also to people who can't get enough of the early Pink Floyd albums, and even fans of Nine Inch Nail may find some of their liking here. The music on The Path Of Least Existence is very hard to pigeon-hole; it's neither prog rock nor post rock; it's neither electronic music nor is it an album for those who only like guitar orientated albums.
My favourite track is the piano-driven piece Northern Exposure including a slightly distorted guitar solo that perfectly suits the composition. I think the release of Jet Black Sea's debut album is really something special. It's a rich blend of many different styles and moods; every time I listened to it, I discovered new things. It's definitely an album you have to listen to more often in order to capture the whole picture. Just put on your headphones, turn up the volume and let the music flow into your head; you won't be disappointed.
**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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