A Gilbert Play's new album "lay-by" is unassuming to the point of near-invisibility. I swear I must've listened to the disc 5 or 6 times looking for a standout track to post with no luck. Which is not to say it's no good, it's more that it's emotionally flat, content to hover in the realm of quiet and mysterious without ever sticking its head above the surface. The band hasn't progressed too much from their previous release -- they're still mining the same 90s-era postrock textures ala Tortoise, mixing jazz, electronics and other elements into a mish-mash of sound. "All together now" only has a touch of the playfulness they sometimes exhibit; instead, it's more of a furrowed-brow work requiring a steady hand and pulse. Flickers of sunshine come up here and there, but they mostly keep it on the serious tip, heads down, no eye contact, floating onwards. There's an intricacy to the arrangement, but you gotta strain to hear it. Listen casually and it'll float on by.
A Gilbert Play - All together now
Swedish art-rock act A Gilbert Play will release their new album "Lay lay" next week via Dreamboat Music. More info: http://www.dreamboat.se/
New mp3 today from A Gilbert Play, an mysterious post-rock/jazz combo from Sweden. Try as I might, I just can't seem to find any information about these guys and in some ways, I think the added mystique benefits them. I've never really been a fan of Tortoise, but hearing this band makes me realize what they were trying to do. Tortoise had good ideas, but A Gilbert Play gets it right. One of the more important aspects of this group's music is that they know when not to play. The way they let notes hang and drift shows a level of musical maturity that is rarely achieved. The restrain doesn't lead to tension though - by letting each instrument have its own space, AGP lets you appreciate how good the compositions and arrangements really are. I particularly enjoy this track because of the shimmering, bell-like guitar tone and the languid melody line. Very, very nice.