“Matter Of Light And Depth” – ‘Klifton Filente’
Some weeks ago, and personally for the first time, I was contacted by music-artist ‘Jonas Lundvall’, sole protagonist of ‘Klifton Filente’, a considerably well-thought and delicately poised band, with fine-tuned acoustic-ambience and interesting takes on relatively simplistic musical elements.
“… Hoo-ray!” I thought to myself, silently ecstatic.
Highly Evolved’s predominant purpose is to promote the artist/s and their work, whether or not we think it’s excellent, or whether we think it deserves to be shelved for all eternity. This kind of patronage is well-earned, I suspect: my partner has had the likes of ‘Toma’ and ‘War Tapes’, for instance. There have only been a small minority of albums which I’ve decided needed a second coat of polish. Even as I write this review, I feel somewhat hypocritical. Just last week I was berated for many an ‘inappropriate apostrophe’. To quote, it was “… very distracting.” So, thanks Brock, that was very much appreciated…
“… It’s like bloody asking me not to use any vowels!”
But, we must take such things in our stride. So, I’ll stop for now and introduce this evening’s entertainment. I hope everybody enjoys:
Where to begin?
I believe it starts on an uncanny Sunday evening, where me, my partner and a friend, trekked off into the cityscape and found ourselves at The Corner Hotel, with twenty-buck tickets and three live acts. Headlining were ‘The Middle East’, and I’ll be posting later in the week a short-story about the gig itself, with a few photos if I can hustle them. So, bear with me there, it’ll be out soon. Something to look forward to this upcoming Sunday, me-thinks?
Anyways, being slightly side-tracked, you’re probably wondering what they have to do with any of this. We’ll get back to the main affair, shall we? And that, tonight, is ‘Klifton Filente’s’ latest album, or should I say EP, “Matter Of Light And Depth”. Now, touching base with my prior comment about ‘The Middle East’, any of our regular-readers will remember a post earlier this year my partner released. For those of you who were looking for a comparison between “Matter Of Light And Depth”, parallels between them and ‘The Middle East’ are pretty easy to distinguish, and those will be the heavy acoustic, yet un-folk-like atmospheres between both. So, expect some banjo/mandolin, expect some very pace-setting percussion and riff-bound guitar.
These all help to form the layers that run beneath the vocals, purely complimentary. ‘Klifton Filente’ has some interesting musical perspectives, and this EP, I feel, shows a variance of musical capability on part with ‘Lundvall’. He seems willing and able to experiment between different styles. Some elements contrast significantly, while others weave in and out of each other harmoniously. In that same sense, acoustic ambience is usually a lyrical-accompaniment, while piano in its place becomes a mood-setter. I don’t find that any of the music itself is particularly repetitive, and unlike some other EP‘s I’ve handled in the past, “Matter Of Light And Depth” is quite open, quite laid-back, and care-free. “Art Vs Science” was also quite malleable in context with genre and musical quality, although ties between other than the stated links, are thready at best.
Since this isn’t a full-length feature album, things are of course going to be shorter than usual, so you can expect “Matter Of Light And Depth” to bounce around the twenty-minute mark. Not too short, not too long, just enough for some quick opinions. It’s a taste-teaser, you’re given a quick, momentary lick, and away you go, always wanting more. I’ll paraphrase: there’s a broad range of musical concepts, so no moment is ever really lost in repetition. In that same vein, each track takes on a new and wonderfully light perspective.
“To Change”, “Matter Of Light And Depth’s” introductory track, opens with some fleeting synth, which is very strangely placed. These electronic flicks and sparks build slowly, a wailing organ accompanies, and a distant bellow of ambience flows. After about thirty-seconds, we see this acoustic explosion of vocalisation, xylophone, among the snare of percussion and some simplistic piano. The track itself remains largely optimistic, it oozes forth. It’s a slow trudge down the street on a Friday night, light headed and sleepy – deceptively long and hypnotic. The track itself manages to scoop you up and out of your chair and take you through an imaginary ride cloud-packed with sunset-adventures.
“Birthmarked” follows, and has this eerie folky feel to it. For newcomers, I’m not particularly partial to folk unless it’s Dylan, but I’ll make an exception this time. You can expect that:
… Of percussion, and that same:
… Of acoustic. Again, it’s less so about the riffs, less so about any solo-instruments, and it’s more to do with reinforcement rather than an insanely-awesome-guitar-lick, like our friend ‘Omar A. Rodriguez-Lopez’ would pull out of his hat.
“Nothing To Know” would probably have to be my favourite track, and that’s because it slows down, takes minimalism over full-burn, with smooth-sounding vocals reminiscent of the jazzy atmosphere in high-rise bars. Smoking, black-suited individuals laugh over a glass of red or white, noir-esque. A sip here, a joke there. That kind of stuff.
“… We walk through the park, without knowing… I guess there was nothing to know…”
The lyrics themselves are brought to life in their vocal incarnations, we’re at the same time captivated, yet catatonic. The lines between reality and the dream world become hazy, we’re lost in a wave of self-imagined bliss.
I think I’ll summarise with “Light And Depth”, because I do want some mystery to remain with “Matter Of Light And Depth”. The track itself almost sounds like a missing ‘Ramona Falls’ song, it brings back that opening pace, much faster now, and an emphatic piano. Relatively quite short, topping off at 1:19, I’m probably only slightly disappointed with this single track really – could have used a few more minutes, but nothing too detrimental.
I would again recommend anybody interested in ‘The Middle East’ to take a look at “Matter Of Light And Depth”, because they’re dealing with the same core elements.
Stand-out Tracks: “To Change”, “Nothing To Know”, “Good Luck”
The Enantiomorphic God