The Kandinsky Effect: Synesthesia on Cuneiform Records May09

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Album at a Glance

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Cuneiform Records Record Label - Cuneiform Records: "Cuneiform Records has a long history of releasing genre-destroying artworks from some of the most iconoclastic musicians on the planet.... one of the most challenging and rewarding catalogs of music ever assembled." – John Swenson / Stereophile
Release date: 2013-01-15


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The Kandinsky Effect: Synesthesia on Cuneiform Records


To jazz aficionados and music explorers alike: here is a refreshing new album of electronically-infused jazz worth your attention. The Kandinsky Effect is a transatlantic trio composed of Warren Walker (saxophone/effects), Gaël Petrina (acoustic and electric bass/effects) and Caleb Dolister (drums/laptop). On their sophomore release Synesthesia, they offer a new and exciting compilation of diverse free jazz.

Other reviewers have referred to the music on Synesthesia as “bold [and] intense”. Perhaps this is true of the first few tracks on the album. Yet in an eclectic blend of jazz, rock, electronica, hip-hop and experimental sounds, the totality of the music embodies various moods and stretches as far from “intense” as one can get. The alternative rock style of “Left Over Shoes” is a good example.

On the whole, the album is performed spaciously to give each tune the breathing room it needs to develop - and they are rhythmically creative, interesting tunes at that. Many of the tracks include alternating measures, often between various unconventional odd meters. It’s in this creative space that fantastic rhythmic developments take place which draw the listener in. “WK51” is a perfect example of this; the surrounding atmosphere and execution of Dolister’s predominantly snare drum solo is similar to The Flashbulb’s "Undiscovered Colors", the later belonging to an experimental sub-genre of Intelligent Dance Music. As an electronic music enthusiast, the group’s electronic effects are, to me, merely an addition of color to the Wassily Kandinsky-like abstract sonic painting. (After all, the trio doesn’t have a chordal instrument among them.) Instead, it is the phrasing forged from odd meters, colored in with harmonies, that make the music inspiring to listen to.

Those who enjoy exploring music shouldn’t hesitate to pick up Synesthesia. Some may come onto the album more slowly than others. But keep your mind open and it will reach out to you in ways other music cannot.

The Kandinsky Effect // SONG: Johnny Utah // ALBUM: Synesthesia

The Kandinsky Effect "Synesthesia" Release LIVE @ The Vortex // WK 51