Jens Gad Presents
You may not know his name, but if you're here, you almost certainly know his music. Jens is variously credited as guitarist and co-producer of Enigma, and when you listen to this or his releases under the name Achillea, the shared influence is clear. Speaking of Achillea, I'm not sure what the difference is between "Achillea" and "Jens Gad Presents" - he seems to be releasing similar albums under both names. If you figure it out, drop me a line.
New Age: 3 Electronica: 4 World: 2
Le Spa Sonique
When I first listened to this album, it left me with a question: How is this different from Achillea? Now that I've heard the second Achillea album, I think I can see the point of divergence. Achillea seems to be a vehicle for Jens Gad to collaborate with different vocalists for a whole album at a time. Albums released under the Jens Gad Presents name, on the other hand, put Gad's compositions center stage, and guest vocalists may be brought in for a song or two. If you're already familiar with Gad's Achillea albums, you'll recognize the two guest vocalists on La Spa Sonique. Helene Horlyck from The Nine Worlds sings Cape Blanc(8), and Luisa Fernandez from Amadas Estrellas provides spoken vocals for El Momento(2).
The rest of Le Spa Sonique is really an instrumental album. Samples of voices can be heard here and there, but they serve as textures and brief counter-melodies rather than the primary focus of songs. This gives Jens Gad ample opportunity to show off skill as a guitarist, which he does on a number of tracks, but the majority of the album's melodies are carried by various synths. When Gad does play, he eschews what I have called the "I Love You, I'll Kill You" tone, for cleaner and more bluesy licks. The album's melodies are subtle and laid-back, with plenty of space between musical phrases. This gives Gad's backing synthscapes, so often overshadowed by vocalists and lead instruments, plenty of room to breathe.
My one significant complaint about Le Spa Sonique is that the kick drums throughout seem mixed for the dance club, rather than the living room. That is to say, they're too loud for this style of music. To some degree, this is just Gad's style. I assume this is intended to give the music more of a groove, which it does on some tracks (like my favoites, Navajo(3) and The Orbiting Suns(4)), but it crosses the line into "giving me a mild headache" on others (like El Momento(2)).
Of the three albums Gad has released without Cretu (this and the two Achilleas), this one is the most reminiscent of his work with Enigma.
Turn off the light, take a deep breath, turn down the bass, and relax.
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| Posted by XRumerTest at 2013-05-06 13:11:06|
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