Wednesday, November 11, 2009

monochrom reviews ikon

At a certain level of abstraction all rationalization becomes very complicated and complex and hard to follow. When I first listened to “Music for Airports” and then also when I first listened to “My life in the bush of Ghosts” I was very much less than thrilled or excited, and maybe the reason for this reaction was on the one hand that I listened to these pieces some decades after they were first released, and on the other hand after I had read a lot about them, so my expectations were completely formed. And, of course, the two reasons worked together to result in a self-fulfilling dissatisfaction. My lesson from this was never to go towards a new record with prejudices. Or at least try to, because honestly, it is impossible. All you can do is to check and re-check your reactions.

Eventless Plot construct music on a level of abstraction that makes especially wholeheartedly subjective, purely emotional listening hard to reach excitement. On the other hand, pure rock and a well played guitar riff, e.g. “Brown Sugar” by Keith Richards, goes directly to that part of your brain but will probably only hold up to a more intellectual consideration by heavy re-argumentation and re-connotation. (Which should be avoided by changing to this argument: “I know, it’s only rock’n’roll but I like it.”) Therefore it is usually the best to take music as it is. And if you are able to enjoy and experience a musical rendition of stasis that is not ambient or drone but postrock in the best sense of the word as stated above, then you are ready for this little album. Because with all means available to them, this band / project from Greece dives into the notion of non-movement with full force. It took me some months to get to the bottom of this, and maybe I didn’t but just managed to find a place to stand on that allowed me to take a good look, so what may be disregarded as simple and uneventful pickering at first sight, is actually an exciting endeavour.

Compared to their last release Eventless Plot (the split lp with Goodnight Mr. Gorsky also on Granny records) has taken a big step towards a new journey, which will take them to new places and unchartered waters. Who can say where to exactly? Probably not even they themselves. But moving is good and important on a different level, especially when it leads you to analyze non-movement in an artistic sense. Maybe it was all given away and predictated when they chose the name “Eventless Plot” and they back then never thought anything of it. “Ikon” takes that travel for six times in six very different ways but every time the basic non-motion remains. Even when there is a break, a bridge or a change in rhythm in their tracks it seems as if it only adds to the overall stasis. It must be an intention, because “ikon” says as much. What is an icon, if not something that is so fixed in people’s minds that is a complete fixture and cannot be changed? (That is except for irony, because irony can do anything…) It is hard at times to even make out if Eventloss Plot are a band playing on real instruments or electronic or both, because they mix it up with grace and skills, producing subtly winding tracks that make Sunday mornings hold their breath and not go by. Unfortunately every record has to end at some time.

Nowadays I listen to “Music For Airports” and “My Life in the bush of ghosts” from time to time and I say I enjoy listening to them. I also listen to “Made in the Shade” from time to time and I enjoy it. As a listener there is no reason to constrain yourself, as opposed to the producer of music. The decisions each one takes are very different. “Ikon” should be a well-thought decision on the listener’s side, but if taken with consideration a great reward as well.

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