NILS PETTER MOLVÆR — Baboon Moon (review)

NILS PETTER MOLVÆR — Baboon Moon album cover Album · 2011 · Nu Jazz Buy this album from MMA partners
2.5/5 ·
js
Nils Petter Molvaer drew a lot of attention when he first hit the scene in the late 90s with his mix of soft tone trumpet melodies, ambient atmosphere, dubbing techniques and hip-hop/drumnbass beats. It was the right mix at the right time and he soon became one of the leaders in the new nu jazz movement. Over the years, many nu jazz bands began looking to ambient post rock for influence, but just recently, some nubies began heading for an even darker sort of gothic sludge rock for something new to try, and not necessarily with good results. Molvaer’s playing on “Baboon Moon” is still nice, but a lot of the music is heavy and predictable with dull unimaginative rock beats and riffs. Even some of the quiet ambient parts have lost their charm due to a slightly oppressive atmosphere. On some cuts, the screaming trumpet with heavy rock riffs almost works, but the overly low end digital sound drains most human life out of the results. Good rock does not sound this plastic. The extremely digital sound of this CD is unnatural and features those sort of sub-zero EQ settings favored by commercial movie soundtracks.

Despite the problems, there are some nice moments on here as well as some dark beauty, especially on the last few cuts, but overall I’m not sure if a lot of his old fans are going to dig this one. On the plus side, the photo on the CD cover is priceless and somehow seems to represent the music well. A quizical look at our own heart of darkness from the other side.
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