Review Summary: Dark Days, Grey Nights
Before I begin, it is of vital importance that you know that The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble is only the third best band name that founder Jason Kohnen has come up with. The second? The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation. And the first?
All in good time my Sputnik amigos.
Here be Dragons
is the sophomore effort from the Dutch group, and is a natural progression from their self titled debut. Lightly brushed drums embrace the silky smooth fretless bass like long lost lovers in a darkened room. Mournful brass lurks in the shadows, serenading the couple with a lament of woeful sighs. Occasionally, a trickle of melancholy laughter emerges from agonizingly placed piano keys before fading again into the gloom. Almost imperceptibly, like dreary smoke from a forgotten cigarette, dark sine waves rise from the ashtray of sound and seep out of the open balcony into the boundless night. Suddenly a soft and sultry voice slinks in from the burning slit of light at the bottom of the weary door; shadowy syllables tiptoe their way along the corridor, carried by an invisible breeze that caresses the murky space and causes the lonely candle flame to bow in subjugation before the infinite darkness.
There are many reasons to listen to this dark and thoughtful music. It’s dark, brooding and at times superbly soul stirring. It’s also strikingly original. The instrumentation is constrained and subtle, and it works wonders by enveloping rather than overwhelming the listener; this is shadowy music for dark days and grey nights.
But the first and foremost reason you have to get this is because it’s the side project of a genius whose main artistic outlet is a raggacore outfit called, unbelievably and unbeatably, Bong Ra.