Feels like the music was dissolved and reconstituted
loce_the_wizard | Lilburn, GA USA | 02/25/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I find that reviewing the music of E.S.T. makes me want to unleash superlatives--the "-est" adjective forms, fittingly--and not all of them positive by any means. "Leucocyte" caps off a grand run of recordings by this trio, but I wish there were more to come.
This CD is a hard one to embrace even while admiring the skill required to pull off this live in studio recording. The late Esbjörn Svensson show his mastery of grand piano and his fascination with electronics; Dan Berglund spends a great deal of the recording coaxing sounds from his double bass that remind me some of the music from Kubrick's film version of 2001 A Space Odyssey; interestingly, I think Magnus Öström is the standout on this recording as at times his drums and percussion are the only thing keeping it grounded, though the extensive set of staccato drumming in parts of Premonition would not invite repeated listening.
The music picks up on some of the more experimental and expressionist directions from earlier E.S.T. recordings and ramps up those elements, pushing harmony and structure to the background. The whole effect feels like the music was dissolved and reconstituted in some form that has the features of music, but not necessarily arranged in the manner to which we are accustomed. I've heard the term soundscapes associated with these "songs" but maybe that is too passive a depiction. I'd opt for soundquakes.
I can appreciate what E.S.T. has accomplished with "Leucocyte" but I will never quite warm up to these free improvisations but I will always have this nagging sense of wondering what might have been next had Mr. Svensson not died.