SUSANNA AND THE MAGICAL ORCHESTRA
Melody Mountain

[Rune Grammofon, www.runegrammofon.com]

Norwegian "Orchestra", Susanna and the Magical Orchestra are actually only a duo. Made up of singer Susanna Wallumrod and keyboardist Morten Qvenild, their second full-length features an already familiar formula of hushed vocals, minimal keyboard work, combined with outstanding choice of cover material. AC/DC, Joy Division, Kiss, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Scott Walker, Prince, Depeche Mode and Fairport Convention - all of these get their songs re-done in a most loving, unique Susanna way. With a fragile voice, Susanna's methodology is to articulate her words and to put as much emotional punch into each song as possible. Her voice fills the gaps left behind by Morten's delicate, thoughtful keyboard work. In fact, last time I was this moved by a female vocal in western music was when I'd heard Anna Domino's "Mysteries of America" in early 90's [and that was a whole new world altogether]. Listen to how hopelessly sad Susanna's delivery is on Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" and the way she tries to sound chipper on Kiss's "Crazy, Crazy Nights". I never thought it'd be possible to turn this stadium anthem into a bitter ballad, but there you have it. Her bittersweet deliver of Scott Walker's "It's Raining Today is nothing short of spectacular but the real stunner is the first track. Not surprisingly Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" [which has been done to death - most notable version in my mind is Jeff Buckley's] stands out like a sore thumb. Whether you've heard this song once or whether this is your millionth time, there's bound to be an effect. Susanna's vocal chords are pure gold as she's straining herself to deliver that long crescendo line during the chorus. Though she's particularly careful in delivering certain sections of these tunes, she never falls to that "precious" level. Strength is something this performer has an ample supply of. Perfect music for mourning - haunting, crisp and brimming with emotional scars. In fact, I think I'll call Susanna's management and see if I can book the Magical Orchestra to play at my funeral.

- Tom Sekowski


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RECENZJE

+ The Beauty Room - The Beauty Room
+ Louie Austen - Iguana
+ Split EP 3
+ Brak - Brak
+ Cassius - 15 Again
+ Conjoint - A Few Empty Chairs
+ Contemporary Household - She Said
+ Contriva - Separate Chambers
+ Housemeister - Enlarge Your Dose
+ Michael Mayer - Immer 2
+ Isolee - Hermelin/Ermine
+ Hanno Leichtmann - Nuit Du Plomb
+ The Mars Volta - Amputechture
+ Milosh - Meme
+ Morgentau - Sunrise
+ My My - Songs For The Gentle
+ 4 Women No Cry - Vol. 2
+ Older - Inside Of The Tears
+ Phage & Daniel Dreier - Beeswax
+ The Rapture - Pieces Of The People We Love
+ Reynold - My Favorite Film
+ DJ Shadow - The Outsider
+ Fat Jon & Styrofoam - The Same Channel
+ Transmission - Beyond Light
+ Transit Kings - Living In A Giant Candle Winking At God
+ Gregor Tresher - Neon - Works In The Mix
+ Unknownmix - The Siren
+ Marshall Watson - Math And Other Word Problems
+ Paul Wirkus - Deformation Profesionnelle
+ ZokZok - Sieben
+ Jesu - Silver
+ Sao Paulo Underground - Sauna: Um, Dois, Tres
+ Kieran Hebden & Steve Reid - The Exchange Session vol. 1
+ Hervé Boghossian w/ John Tilbury & Mark Wastell - Archi.Texture Vol.1
+ Wade Matthews/Ingar Zach - Mørke - Lys
+ Keith Rowe/Mark Wastell - Confront Performance Series 02
+ Eugene Carchesio & Leighton Craig - Leaves
+ Diane Cluck - Monarcana
+ Z'EV - Rhythmajik
+ Hati - Recycled Magick Soundsystem: Live
+ Aidan Baker - The Sea Swells a Bit
+ Troum/Martyn Bates - To a Child Dancing in the Winds
+ Le Forbici di Manitu - Tagliare
+ August Born - August Born
+ V.A. - Not Alone

- - - - - - - - -

+ DEREK BAILEY - To Play
+ Frédéric Blondy / Le Quan Ninh - Exaltatio Utriesque Mundi
+ GRIZZLY BEAR - Yellow House
+ DANIEL LEVIN QUARTET - Some Trees
+ RASHIM - Suns.Shadows
+ RAFAEL TORAL - Space
+ PAUL FLAHERTY - Whirl of Nothingness
+ THE DAVID S. WARE QUARTET - BalladWare
+ BOB MEYER - All This is That
+ MINIMUM CHIPS - Lady Grey
+ ANDREY KIRITCHENKO - Stuffed With/Out
>> SUSANNA AND THE MAGICAL ORCHESTRA - Melody Mountain
+ SMUTNY - Telehors
+ MYLES BOISEN & JON RASKIN - Music + One
+ V.A. - Tone 25
+ KK NULL / DANIEL MENCHE - Raijin
+ MIRROR - Still Valley
+ ZOMBIE - Digitalis
+ CECIL TAYLOR UNIT - The Eighth
+ LOUIE AUSTEN - Iguana
+ V.A. - Brazilian Beat Brooklyn

- - - - - - - - -

WYWIADY / RELACJE

+ Lubimy eksperymentować - rozmowa z Digital Factor - Mike Langer'em
+ I am oldschool! - rozmowa z Housemeister'em
+ In my blood - wywiad z Michael'em Mayer'em