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Ghost Canyon

Title - 'Depart'
Artist - Akku Quintet

For those not in the know, the Akku Quintet was founded by drummer and composer Manuel Pasquinelli.

Best-known for his work in Swiss post-rock minimalist outfit, SONAR, Pasquinelli’s writing contains an almost cinematic dimension that encompasses bittersweet moods and moments of unfolding drama.

Following their acclaimed 2017 album, Aeon, the Switzerland-based outfit minimalistic jazz quintet have released their fourth record, Depart (and is the first to be released on Trey Gunn’s (King Crimson, Security Project) 7d Media label).

1. 'Largo' [14:35]
2. 'Made In China' [07:16]
3. 'Breeze' [03:44]
4. 'Depart' [10:52]
5. 'Cyan' [07:07]

Containing a sequence of darkly beautiful compositions by founder Pasquinelli, between the mesmeric ostinato, subtly shifting grooves, resonant overtones, tingling harmonics and languorous, yearning melodies, each and every one of the five new jazz-infused tracks are as vibrant and as fresh as one could have ever hoped for.

The opening, and longest track 'Largo' is a wondrous opener and during its progression allows for all the band members to have beautiful solo moments.

Much like the gentle, getting-into-your-stride start to a race, it picks up pace midway through, before culminating in what I can only describe as a decidedly film noir structure.

Recorded last year in April over just four days next up is 'Made In China,' a track that incorporates the back beat of a rather joyous, playful electronic, plastic toy piano with the added deep sax groove from Gilsenan flowing in-step along side it.

'Breeze’ is a more dulcet and darkly atmospheric journey into the band where Nydegger takes centerstage. Her work at the piano is impeccable, moving, stirring, and collectively wrapped in more film noir essence is one of my own personal favorites here.

The title track 'Depart,' together with the gentle, train-like effervescence of Ischer's guitar work immediately brings Gilsenan's layered sax work to the fore, with Pasquinelli's drums adding the structure to enable him to organically progress thereafter.

The album then rounds out with the Akku Quintet delving into a complete different style of music, Flamenco. The colorful, piano, guitar and bass-led composition of 'Cyan' is as emotive and as sculptured as most anything that has gone before it from the band. A true twisting and turning, even achingly reverent at times gem to behold, that's for sure.

Says Pasquinelli, “We have chosen ‘Depart’ as the album title because it describes very good the general feeling/spirit of the album. I’d say compared to our previous albums, ‘Depart’ is more driving and expressive."

"I think one can hear a forward-moving undertone on all the tracks. The title track ‘Depart’ comes along in a courageous and at the same time doubting and mysterious mood, performed with lots of playfulness."

"‘Depart’ was the best word to describe the mood of this track and the album in general.”

Manuel Pasquinelli - Drums, Compositions
Michael Gilsenan - Sax
Maja Nydegger - Keys
Markus Ischer - Guitar
Andi Schnellmann - Bass

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