Released 25 May 2018
Norwegian art rockers Gazpacho continue their creative journey, capturing the sounds and themes of the passing of moments that can’t be saved or frozen to be savoured in time.
It’s an album interconnected tales of people, lives and moments ‘frozen in time’, encapsulated in musical form. Inspiration comes in many forms and from many timeframes. Gazpacho’s easily recognisable art rock precision sees them experimenting with sending out rafts of sounds and textures with the Russian Soyuz space capsule mission and its captain, Komarov, taking centre stage as the opening throb of Soyuz One gives way to burst of power before ultimately drifting into a sad refrain. The Soyuz theme is picked up later in the undulating waves that form the sprawling Soyuz Out which also includes a soundbite of the oldest recording of the human voice from 1860 – a record of one of those fleeting moments frozen in time.
The intensity that dips in and out of the spacey atmospherics gives way to an acceptance that there’s no return from the cosmonautic escapade as an aggressive march makes its way towards the ultimate sacrifice. Making up a telling twenty minute sequence over the two parts, the Soyuz tracks monitor a futile mission, ultimately destined to fail; a thought that adds a sobriety to the musical soundscape.
The art rock tag predictably reveals passages of contrasting dynamics. The key track, surely Fleeting Moments, which would have been a possibly more apt album title. “Living in moments, stolen moments” the key line as a distant mid paced starkness slowly revealing a controlled tsunami. It’s the curve ball of Hypomania that delivers a perfect example of where the Radiohead similarities start – a more straightforward rock track that echoes the indie guitar boom that gave us Thom Yorke and his crew and Suede; Jan Henrik Ohme’s vocals, for want of a better word, whining out their message.
The Tibetan Buddhist funeral practice is the nucleus for Sky Burial, a piece whose arrangement shifts from stark and ambient to a warmer lushness, while the initial theatricality of the Hans Christian Anderson inspired Emperor Bespoke gives way to a see saw ebb and flow and ever building peak.
An album that rarely showcases the individual; no reliance on extended searing guitar solos or indulgent keyboard decadence. A knack for touching emotional hotspots, the Gazpacho collective is the sum of the parts, summed up with the restrained coda of Rappicini that provides a soothing afterthought to an album of deep musical and narrative philosophising.
You can listen to Exit Suite from the from the album here:
The Gazpacho website is here