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Golden Solitude

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Album Review

The Austrian duo Ritornell might not immediately seem to be a logical choice for either the Karaoke Kalk label or for having Patrick Pulsinger as a mixer. The understated late-night jazz touches, from moody electric bass to sparkling keyboards and moaning brass, suggest everything from electric Miles Davis to the further edges of Tortoise instead, not to mention the thriving 21st century Norwegian improvisational scene in general. The near noir moodout of "Disappearing City" alone would be enough to suggest that Ritornell's spiritual home might even be ECM. But Golden Solitude, whether it plays around with stuttering breaks as on "Emere" or "Nina" or simply finds a good spot for some general chilling, often finds its own remarkable balance between impulses. The vocals that arc in and then often cut off or suddenly withdraw on "A Fancy Friendship (Richard's Rework)" or the glitch twitch on "Naked" — these and other moments make the album an enjoyable if not completely unique listen.

Golden Solitude, Ritornell
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