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ESMERINE - Everything was forever until it was no more

Format: LP
Label & Cat.Number: Constellation - CST166
Release Year: 2022
Note: the band around G.Y.B.E./ SILVER MOUNT members with a new pearl (first in 5 years) of chamber like post-rock ethno / ambience and neo-classic beauty, perfeclty arranged around the Cello (REBECCA FOON) and Marimba (BRUCE CAWDRON) basics... great harmonic phrases and changes like in old French film music, let this stand out, too.. - phantastic deisgn with die-cut cover, thick full colour printed inner sleeves, and extra inlays + DL card
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €27.50

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Deluxe 180gram vinyl edition comes in a foil-embossed and die-cut cardstock jacket with printed inner sleeve and additional 12x12 art cards featuring the collages of Maciek Szczerbowski. All the art interacts with the die-cut jacket framing. Edition of 300. Rooted in a distinct and immediately identifiable sound_with the cello of Rebecca Foon (Saltland, Set Fire To Flames, Thee Silver Mt Zion) and the marimba of ex-Godspeed You! Black Emperor percussionist Bruce Cawdron at its core_Esmerine has long embroidered emotive chamber works using threads of post-classical, post-rock, Minimalism, neo-Baroque, jazz, pop and a wide array of folk traditions. Multi-instrumentalist Brian Sanderson, who joined the group in 2012, has furthered Esmerine's melodic and ethnomusicological sensibility ever since, expanding the ensemble's palette as its third core member with guitars, ngoni, ekonting, hulusi, brass horns of all sorts, and more. Since 2003, six stately and filmic instrumental albums have inscribed compositional landscapes through epigrammatic miniatures, longform multi-movement chronicles, and all manner of evocative musical prosody between. Marked by an inimitably turbid yet tempered pastoralism, alternately lit by dappled dawn and disquieted dusk, Esmerine's musical narratives balance asceticism and romanticism, melancholy and hope, stillness and wanderlust. Esmerine now shares Everything Was Forever Until It Was No More, its seventh full-length album and first in five years. The band surprise-dropped the full album digitally on 06 May 2022, with the CD and Deluxe 180gram LP editions hitting stores on official release date 26 August 2022. Following an acclaimed run of mid-career records on Constellation through the 2010s_the last three of which have all been finalists or winners of Juno Awards for Instrumental Album of the Year and/or Album Packaging of the Year_Esmerine began working on new music at decade's end. Under the auspices of a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, and a summer 2019 residency at Le Chteau de Monthelon (an artist commune in France where the band has cherished long-standing spiritual, creative, and personal connections), compositional seeds were planted_and then pandemic rooted everyone in place. In between lockdown waves, at the respective rural Qubec homesteads of Cawdron and Foon, longtime co-producer Jace Lasek (The Bernard Lakes) began capturing the band in various stripped-down configurations with spartan remote equipment. More fulsome arrangement and overdub sessions at Foon's converted barn during the summer of 2021 brought the album to full fruition_where a notable increase in the use of acoustic piano also poured forth, with just about every band member having a go. The record also signals the definitive integration of bassist Philippe Charbonneau_having joined Esmerine as a touring member pre-pandemic, he plays throughout the album on upright and electric bass, with turns on piano and synth, as well as sound design contributions via tape echo and other processing. Everything Was Forever Until It Was No More grapples with the existential tensions between atmosphere and airlessness, seclusion and claustrophobia, forbearance and coalescence. In many ways it is one of Esmerine's most restrained records. Only a few passages are driven by full percussion. There is palpably less Sturm and Drang or overt crescendos compared to its recent predecessors. The new album roils with a different sort of dynamic intensity, where instrumental densities ebb and flow within an overtonal centre, melding into each other with gauzy timbral warmth, sometimes tracing fleeting tendrils outwards, but always rotating around a saturnine gravitational force. Everything Was Forever Until It Was No More is like a dark forest lit by a closely-orbiting opalescent planet; it could be the alternate score to Von Trier's Melancholia or Cormac McCarthy's The Road.