Jumpel :: Europa (Hidden Shoal)

Hugely ambient, gentle and suggestive in part, with quiet aspects that lament around each city stop, Europa is a portrait of minimalistic excellence and a passion for discovery, which flourishes with every experimental step across the continent.

Jumpel 'Europa'

[Listen | Purchase] When Jo Durbeck and Rene (formerly of German band Bones) founded their very own company and studio, writing & producing music for films, there was plenty of vision. Not only did they write scores for numerous films and documentaries, they won the award for Best Score at the Valencia Film Festival in 2006, and also at the Max-Ophuels Festival in Saarbruecken, Germany in 2008. That is some achievement.

Going back some years, Jumpel began life in 2005 when Jo began to write and record his own music. Prior to Bones, Jo’s formative musical experiences involved playing with empty detergent cans, boxes, and a piano in his parents’ cellar. In 1986 he bought a Commodore C-64 computer and discovered electronic music. The rest perhaps is history, and given all that background, the experimentation you hear within Jumpel’s music should come as no surprise.

Europa is Jumpel’s third album. It’s a minimal explanation of discovery, borne out of travels that extended around Europe. A certain inspiration that gives perspective for wider observations from distances of every measure, but also capped with a certain amount of isolation.

“Wien” is built on a dominant Big Ben styled chime. It successfully moves around the clock with steady rotation towards “Edinburgh,” a track that demonstrates a more traditional form. This moment in time displays a naked work of reflection, shaped by its dreamy vocals and touched by the gentle surrounding shadows. The subdued work that is Europa follows a similar pattern throughout, despite the would be diversity indicated in the travel aspect.

“Rom” is placed to exhibit the albums uplifting spiritual side, an implied strength and a proposition that reaches out in hope, carried by a gentle wind. A soothing piano adds to the mystique that so clearly creates a favourable first imprint here, with its progression being rather gospel sounding. In contrast there’s “Stockholm,” introduced as a dry and bland backdrop that welcomes the occasional voice-over. The beats become wrapped in a haunting melody of deep hues, before a diversion points to a more intense route that engraves itself alongside the lighter rhythm. “Venedig” displays vibrant, direct and inquisitive behavior. A busied and quick sharpening of senses that is short, but perhaps not so sweet, edging more on the menacing as it makes an exit. “Bern,” although more gritty, generally aims to keep that theme of gentle persona, even if it does show more internal workings of computerized laser beams. Its ambient rhythm compliments the more spirited aspects of the track, although embellishments are built in discretely with droplets of random sounds and a sprinkling of extremely distant clangs. Following the intensity of “Bern” it’s a welcome change of tact as the soothing sounds that introduce “Aries,” creep up with an invigorating temptation. It’s cool and collected, but has enough power to draw in the lightness of a natural surrounding, gradually making it glow; carefully planted strings adding a more sublime texture while glittering chimes embrace. Ever so mild, yet makes enough of a statement with its brighter inclinations and filtered sounds.

Hugely ambient, gentle and suggestive in part, with quiet aspects that lament around each city stop, Europa is a portrait of minimalistic excellence and a passion for discovery, which flourishes with every experimental step across the continent.

Europa is out now on Hidden Shoal. [Listen | Purchase]

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