PARALLEL 41: s/t CD/DVD Baskaru
According to the press release this is where New York and Naples meet, an imaginary course where the 41st parallel runs. However it’s where these two artists reside respectively as well.
Julia Kent will most likely be known for her cello work with Rasputina and also Antony & the Johnsons, whilst De Dominicis is a poet, singer and electronic artist; together this duo fuse an intriguing array of delicate and sometimes frantic, obscure musicianship that has a heavy European independent film soundtrack flavour, coursing through its veins.
The vocalisations remind me somewhat of Halou on the odd occasion and give a fundamental pop ethic to the proceedings, oozing out lyrics at will. Gentle child like harmonies give way to seductive whispers that ride along light percussion, understated looping cello and distant electronics.
The result is a collection of tracks that skilfully display a high level of vocal training and music theory. “Parallel 41’ is beautiful, obscure, engrossing and enthralling from start to finish and is all the better for being devoid of any strict genre.
Packaged in this glorious oversized sized digipak we also have the accompanying DVD, ‘Faraway Close’ by Davide Lonardi; a lengthy, semi documentary on the artists themselves showing modern and archived footage of New York and Naples.
Beautifully shot and well put together this utilises the music from the album with some clever animations and interviews with the artists themselves discussing their cultures old and new and is an altogether interesting addition to the album thematically. Altogether, this will be an interesting introduction to Kent and De Dominicis and how they create music for the uninitiated, whilst being a feast for those that know them well, with images from their inspiration as well as live performance; excellent, if not a trifle self indulgent.
9/10 CD 9/10 DVD