Published Sep 04, 2018Belgian artists Julia Kent and Jean D.L. have chosen to categorize their new collaboration as an ambient electronic work, but it's more than that; Kent's cello is every bit as prevalent as D.L.'s guitar and tape machine. As a result, The Great Lake Swallows could just as suitably be marketed as a new classical recording. The four-part, 26-minute disc also supplied Sandrine Verstraete's 2015 video installation of the same name with a nuanced, lushly beautiful soundtrack.
Don't be fooled by its apparent uniformity. The duo has produced a complex, multilayered (sort of) drone work. Cello, guitar and electronics combine to produce successive waves of mesmerizing sound. Yet, those contributions are not simply combined; the spotlight is shared throughout the four parts. Listeners will find their focus shifting repeatedly from artist to artist, from instrument to instrument. This takes the spirit of free jazz interplay and slows it down enough for us to appreciate every moment of the collaboration in fine detail. (Gizeh)