Small Pieces Loosely Joined


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Small Pieces Loosely Joined

format: CD | catalogue: sonig 30CD | year: 2003

<Few copies back in stock>

Adam Butler, the British exile and resident of Cologne by choice, has long since made a name for himself internationally, a name which has itself become a byword for complex grooves and multi-layered arrangements. The piano has become a sort of trademark for him, and one he is constantly redefining. VERT is a musical chameleon. Lightness and profundity co-exist in his music without conflict, and it is precisely this amazing versatility, which distinguishes "small pieces loosely joined". With a running time in excess of fifty minutes, it's a consummate success. "small pieces loosely joined" comprises both flirty come-ons in pop's direction as well as short sketches, reminiscent of its title. Using accordion, Rhodes, lots of piano of course and a dense tissue of electronica, the tracks tentatively approach something akin to musical leitmotifs, only to toy with them, view them from different angles and then surprisingly move on to new thematic pastures. At a later stage, having long since focused our attention on a multitude of new sonic occurrences, VERT unexpectedly side-steps to the original motif. And yet the listener is by no means swept away in a maelstrom of sonic events, but rather is engaged by the inherent pace of "small pieces . . ." You simply can't not-listen. VERT conjures up tension, only to dissolve it by turns in a wonderfully charming, articulate and unpredictable manner. In this sense one can only view the title as a typical piece of artistic understatement, as we are by no means dealing with a string of loosely, even randomly connected musical clippings. The reverse is true. A clear thread of musical rigour, embedded deep down in the complex arrangements, can be traced throughout the entire album. VERT's third LP for sonig evinces masterful sound design without resting upon laurels of previous sound innovations. It creaks and splutters, rumbles and rocks, breaks and blows from all sides and every angle. And yet despite all this complexity, VERT can groove with the best of them. He creates a sonic disquiet, which melts in to a beneficent simplicity in the second half of the album. Everything on "small pieces . . . " is in perpetual flux. Even when VERT steps right back and takes his time to develop a particular sound, the movement is never arrested, ever constant. "an experimental pop album, moving between spontaneity and discipline, poetry and science, classical beauty and futuristic aggressiveness." (NZZ)