vrijdag 24 mei 2019

Untie The Ropes. Komraus

Untie The Ropes starts as dreamy as the best songs of Antwerp band The LVE. The slow played piano chords would have been a match in its best song 'Love, When You Don't Want It'. The piano stays, the song, 'Some Minutes' goes in a different direction. The dark voice of singer Sara Rioja is extended by the slow beats and dark sounds all around here, created by Martin Komraus.

Komraus is a duo from the U.K., that creates a modernised from of triphop, the musical style blending mystery with beats. Listening to 'Some Minutes' gives me an impression of vast emptiness, endless space with nothing around me, while listening to music and singing none the less. It is exactly this mystery that intrigues me. A whole album long.

Of course, when a song like 'Gas' starts, my mind races back to Portishead's live album. Triphop is serious music. Komraus manages to make the music somewhat lighter, it allows me to dream. The music is like gas, the way it seems to blend into the whole of my living room when played. Even the drums somehow seem to have joined this quality. While really standing out, they blend in somehow. And this is special. Where most music is a presence in a room, as it tends to take over the room when played, totally absorbing it, Untie The Ropes becomes one with it. This is the only way I can describe the sensation I feel when playing the album.

At the same time Untie The Ropes is not perfect. Where the music certainly is perfectly balanced, singer Sara Rioja at some points challenges her voice just bit too much. There are little flaws in her singing. It gives Komraus the human face it needs. Perfection would have made it, perhaps, too perfect.

10 Songs Untie The Ropes lasts and it is time well spent. I surrender to the flow and just want to listen. The title song is not the one with the most free flowing vocal melody on the album and then a piano takes over soloing over the dark synths playing the few chords over and over. Another moment of great beauty, like there are many on this album. The songs allow for enough variation to keep the album interesting, something I always found a problem with the bands from the first triphop wave. Something Komraus has in common with Kovacs' first album. This new wave of triphop is alright by me.


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