Album Title: 
Release Date: 
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Review Type: 

I was little confused when Nele, the nice lady that takes care of Consouling Sounds’ management and promotion (she also runs the renewed store in Ghent, and is in charge of the organisation of different happenings, like a non-ignorable presence at 2014’s edition of the famous Incubate (and FYI: Consouling Sounds will record the performance on that ‘festival’ of Nadja, and release it soon after on vinyl; something to look after!)), offered me an EP by Nordmann. Nordmann has nothing to do with the stuff usually done via Consouling Sounds (you know, Drone, Doom, Sludge, Post-Hardcore, Black Metal, Noise and more of this aural beauty). So this Belgian band must be pretty interesting to deserve this attention. But apparently it has to do with respect for musicians, giving them new opportunities. Therefor Consouling Sounds started Consouling Agency as a kind of sub-label for self-releases, in order to support young acts that aren’t quite Consouling Sounds-stuff. Agency versus Sounds… Still following me? Anyway, it’s via this supportive sub-label that the Consouling Sounds-crew etc… And to make it even more confusing, I mean interesting: Consouling Sounds are about to start another sub-label (I do not know if I can give you the name yet, for things are still in their starting phase), which will release less extreme Music than the main label (Consouling Sounds, as you smart ones did understand in mean time), and it will be via this new label, probable, that Nordmann will release their debut full length in early 2015… Pfff…

I didn’t know them, but apparently young act Nordmann won some important contests: first prize on Muziekmozaiek (2012), first on De Storm! (2013), third on Jazz Hoeilaart (2013) and earlier this year, second on Humo’s Rock Rally. Muziekmozaiek is a festival for Jazz, Brass, Folk, Kleinkunst and related genres, De Storm! focuses on Jazz too, Jazz Hoeilaart, well, you know for the name says it all (though, one of the biggest international Jazz competitions!), and Humo’s Rock Rally might be the most important Belgian contest for starting Rock bands, whose former winners (or co-finalists), or at least some of them, got the opportunity to grew into hyper-successful proportions. Some names, just for fun, that reached the final three throughout the last years: Das Pop, School Is Cool, Evil Superstars, Novastar, The Black Box Revelation, Admiral Freebee or Absynthe Minded. Not bad, you might think. Besides, the combination of Jazz and Rock might betray a fusion-approach, and indeed, Nordmann do combine both genres. Still I wonder why this Sludge label wants to promote such an act.

Anyway, this first EP was recorded by the quartet (guitar player Edmund Lauret, bassist Dries Geusens, drummer Elias Devoldere, and saxophonist Mattias De Craene) at Closed Sessions Studio with Jasper Maekelberg (think: Mintzkov, Yuko) [Mintzkov, by the way, did win Humo’s Rock Rally too a while ago] in anticipation on the upcoming full length, that will see the light in early 2015 (on the new label not-yet-to-be-named - see above; it will be the second release on that label out of three that are already being prepared; thus: look out), if nothing goes wrong. It consists of three tracks that might impress.

Opening song The Pedestrian immediately shows this band’s unique identity. It’s a unique mixture of slightly Funk-based Jazz, progressive Rock and experimental Avant-garde, but created with a very own, specific vision on the music scene. It comes with a nice dose of humour, a nice dose of professionalism, a nice dose of darkness, and a huge dose of craftsmanship. The twang-approach might be the (inevitable) missing link in between both main genres (Jazz and Rock), but it does not fall into über-catchy or poppy nonsense. This goes for Delhi Belly as well, even though this track comes with a slightly sinister sound. Rups is the most extravert and extravagant song on this EP, with a specific King Crimson-oriented vibe. It’s the most energetic one, and the most progressive one too.

Reason for this professional approach, despite these guys’ young age, might be their experience in other projects and bands like Zahir Collective, Manngold de Cobre or Maerba, in case this might tell you something.

For fans of: Morphine, King Crimson, Weather Report, Manngold de Cobre, Zappa, Zorn or Bohren & Der Club Of Gore.