Amiira has an atmospheric essence that flows all the way through, it haunts and charms in equal measure. It builds layers of tones and mixes them with chords and then splashes rhythms that slowly build from a Tibetan monk’s bell and percussion to prog-rock played with treated saxophone. It is a very intimate album in many ways but it is never stark or lacking pace.
Amiira is the brainchild of bass clarinetist/soprano saxophonist Klaus Gesing, bassist Björn Meyer and drummer Samuel Rohrer. In addition to their instruments they employ loops and electronic noises to fill the spacious soundscape with a constant atmospheric background. They create incredibly emotional and yet unpredictable sound that meanders stylistically over 10 tracks. The start of track 2 ‘Minne’ is reminiscent of a Nino Rota tune for a movie that Fellini never made, track 3 ‘Fulminate’ will be cherished by fans of Porcupine Tree, and for their part, fans of King Crimson will devour track 9 ‘Sirènes Sacrés’, which to my ears is the jewel in this musical crown. For the most part Amiira is an incredibly listenable affair that oozes energy and originality.
The recording is lush, accurate and very, very good indeed. The electronic and acoustic instruments all sound very real through the speakers. The bass is as fast as it is rich and prominent. It will make your system sound better whether it be a pair of earphones or a big stereo system. I am intrigued to hear whether the 24/44.1 WAV download that Arjuna is offering sound any better.
Standout track: ‘Sirènes Sacrés’