What’s in a song?: Kashmir – Pedestals

Bit of an odd one last week; sorry about that. The problem with holidays is that they tend to ruin the rhythm and flow of things and, as I wait patiently at the foot of any future career; rhythm and flow are important. Got to keep the ball rolling. Got to make that dent. That said, as far as holidays go this was a pretty good one and ended with an all too brief changeover in Copenhagen. It meant quite a lot to me. I’ve mentioned before (many moons ago) how Denmark has a stupidly vibrant music scene and to finally be in the same city as Vega was giddily exciting. Then I realised I hadn’t shared anywhere near as much awesome Danish music as I should have (bar a little nod to Troels Abrahamsen); time to change that with something truly special.

                          Simple, gorgeous art

Kashmir were one of those bands I’d known about for some time, having been one of the many names mentioned as collaborators in the Bowie Bible. But I never followed them up and it wasn’t until later that I was introduced properly through the sublime album, Zitilites; one of the greatest collections of song released in the 00’s. Actually, actually. It will change you. It changed me. I became a fan. A big one. I consumed all the music they had produced with zeal; overwhelmed by the sheer variety and versatility on offer. Then something brilliant happened; they released E.A.R. This album became everything I needed and more; both the cold edges of a London dawn and a moment of pure, intense happiness. The details are irrelevant; the music became the memory as a bit of my soul forever tied itself to the band. And from this album as a whole; it is Pedestals that binds the most.

Ambient music has been done. All sense of the ‘art’ behind Eno’s original vision has been swallowed by lazy film scores and vitality commercials. People rarely put the effort in anymore. They don’t need to; just fiddle about with a glacial synth loop and you’re golden. Yet the slow ambient introduction to Pedestals is different; the texture is endlessly evolving in on itself, throwing up little eddies of dischord and texture in the process. This creates a distinct personality and a depth beyond the long, paced guitar chords and held notes. Little chimes sparkle in the head as our ears bathe in the warm sonority of it all. Considering this is hot on the heels of ‘Purple Heart‘ (a riot of an electro-rock song), this is quite a shift. But then, almost exactly at the heart, the blanket lifts. We arrive in a song; a proper song with pulse and melody and lyrics and everything. It’s quite a change and it is magnificent. The first time I heard Kasper sing ‘Your luck, your luck, your poor luck has turned’ I believed him, I still do. A transcendent experience if ever there was one. But this isn’t me being my usual overly emotional self; this is musical science! By beginning in such a calm, timeless manner we lose all sense of temporal perspective. This gives us a distorted perception of tempo which in turn intensifies the music of the following section. Put simply, listen to the song and think which half feels longer; I bet you a shiny copper penny you feel the beginning is far longer than the end. It is, but not by very much. The ‘song’ section feels more immediate, it feels more important and satisfies us better as a result. Well, it satisfies me anyways. It satisfies me completely.

You have to buy this album. It is astonishing. Though if, like I was, you have the misfortune to be in Britain; you may have to go the complicated route of buying it through kashmir.sonymusicshop.dk/ or getting the CD from Amazon. But there is such pleasure in the hunt. So come join me in my weird, overenthusiastic fandom! Please…

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6 thoughts on “What’s in a song?: Kashmir – Pedestals

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