Music: A Winged Victory For The Sullen – The Undivided Five (Ninja Tune, 2019)

It‘s been a while since the last record from Dustin O‘ Halloran and Adam Wilzie as A Winged Victory For The Sullen was released. Their last effort „Atoms“ was released in 2014 on their long time collaboration label Erased Tapes. For the new one they switched to the larger imprint Ninja Tune. „The Undivided Five“ has a long not terminated creation process that starts in the beginning of 2018.

Unbound by any timeline Dustin O‘ Halloran and Adam Wilzie starts with the work on a new A Winged Victory For The Sullen record in spring 2018. The creation process involves many different locations around europe. All of the Orcestra recordings were done in Budapest (Hungarian Radio). A place from history were time stands still. As discribed by Adam Wilzie, it‘s never easy to take a great recording. Many things has come together. It isn‘t planable. Back in Island (Greenhouse Studios) they do some experimental recordings together with Ben Frost. Some works on the arrangements and manipulation of loops. The third recording location takes place in a church in Brussels (Saint-Jean-Baptiste Au Beguinage). They capture the sound of the church by a three set of mics and some speakers. To combine all of that, they to the mixing at Vox-Ton Studios in Berlin. With the help of Francesco Donadello they put all pieces together. But how does it sound? In a short form, fantastic. But that‘s a review so we start with the monumental 8 minute opener „Our Lord Debussy“, were the piano fades in. It‘s a perfect combination between Drone and Neo classic. A journey with many different attempts. It goes on with the ambient tone of „Sullen Sonata“. A more floating, warm melody and string driven track with some up and downs. It leads perfectly to the piano sequence of „The Haunted Victorian Pencil“. It‘s a gorgeous piece of music. After that the album re-creates space, to slowly evolve „The Slow Descent Has Begun“ were strings fades in and changes the tone quite carefully. The next track „Aqualung, Motherfucker“ starts with a wide opening until the piano drops in. The track is seperated in sequences, were drone elements are permanent in the background. „A Minor Fifth Is Made Of Phantoms“ sounds like far away. It‘s a melancholy/sad one that plays with emotions. Sequenzing is one of the main parts of „The Undivided Five“ and „Adios, Florida“ is another perfect example. Nevertheless of complexity it doesn‘t feel overloaded. A late highlight comes with „The Rhythm Of A Dividing Pair“ with a synthie driven melody and a heavy done second part of it. The closing track marks a worthy completion. It sounds like a farewell. Hopefully not to long. In one word: Masterpiece!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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Dominik Scheuring

I'm living and working in Hamburg, Germany. My interests are all about music, movies, and traveling. I also do some typical sport activities like fitness, running and swimming.

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