August Engkilde Electronic Panorama Orchestra

[Popscape; 2004]

Rating: 4/5

Styles: electronic jazz & dub
Others: Break Reform, Cinematic Orchestra, St. Germain, Husky Rescue

He's a busy boy, that August Engkilde. Not only has he played bass for Pole, who returns the favor by mastering this album, but he's also put in time for Ninja Tune's Flanger, the perversely comedic Senor Coconut, the Band Of Inner Urge, and many more. The Electronic Panorama Orchestra sees the debut for abstract electronic scape's brand new, created specifically for this album, sub label Popscape. Although the EPO was founded by and essentially is Engkilde's baby, it is by no means exclusionary. The EPO is an artist collective and the sound of which will be affected by whoever is available or wants to contribute. This ideal of creative freedom is strongly reflected in the warmth and color of this CD. Bits of lowered sample rate production scamper about to highly effective use, especially the cheesy rock guitar on album opener "Little Mary And Old George," which sounds like it was picked off a Yak-Bak against a backdrop of jazz and non-Western instruments, driven by lazy dub and hip-hop beats. It's astounding how something that is essentially part of a poor quality recording can sound so pure and pleasurable. The real show stealer here, though, is the voice of Frida Asmussen, daughter of world famous jazz violinist Sven, who contributes a series of trip-hop/lounge vocals to four tracks but really gives the album a signature. Her sweet hybrid of Björk and Nanar (Break Reform, check them out) accentuates the diverse electro-world chill of Engkilde to create the most moving songs on the album. Her luxurious purr is actually the reason why scape created it pop mate, and I can't blame 'em. Shit, I feel like starting a couple labels for her too, but I digress. Anyone looking for a Cinematic Orchestra dampered with subtleties, here it is. Revel in its chilled humility.

1. Little Mary & Old George
2. Talk To Odua
3. I Do
4. Continental Travelling
5. The Tres Players Story
6. The Marriage Of Hat & Boots
7. The Bird & The Guitar
8. Papergirl
9. Sing The Tom-Tom
10. Goodnight Little E.

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