Music Review | posted 09.02.2016
Cloudland Canyon
An Arabesque
Medical, 2015
Text Sebastian Hinz
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Cover Cloudland Canyon  - An Arabesque

For example, Claude Debussy; between the years 1888 and 1891 his »Deux Arabesque« were created, two serene, casual sweeping piano pieces. For example, Robert Schumann; in the year 1839, his»Arabeske op. 18« was composed, devoted to his patron Friederike Serre. A super, light piano composition in C major, shaped by rhythm and dynamics. When referring to arabesque in musical terms those pieces by Debussy and Schuhmann are the common references. It is vivacious and life-affirming music, ballad-like and free at the same time but not free of garnishments. In this tradition, Kip Uhlhorn now puts forward his project Cloudland Canyon. With the LP »An Arabesque« he converts (with a little help from; M. Geddes Gengras; Lesa Alridge and Jody Stephens from Big Star; and Peter Kember from Spacemen 3) these types of musical pieces into the present-day, so to speak. Perhaps also in the early 1980’s. A big jump forward, in any case, into a really cool period on the timeline. The basis of the 8 pieces are not piano, rather its descendant, the synthesiser. When thinking of these compositions, you almost forget that Kip Uhlhorn used to be occupied with the attribute »Guitarist« (for Panthers and Red Scare amongst others). Apart from that, these songs have the ease of a summer’s first love, the dynamics of a car ride with an open top into a brighter blue. Little garnishments are also used such as; a ting-a-ling on »Where’s the Edge«, a twitter-twitter on »An Arabesque«, a Ssssssssiinnnggg on »Staying Awake«, a tum-ti-tum on »Faulting Fate«, a saxophone, something that is reminiscent of a harpsichord, a Boing-Boom-Tish, and whatever else. There’s not much left of the Ash Ra Temple-like, higher and higher looming Krautrock sounds of the first records (back in the days still as a duo with Simon Wojan). In respect of sound aesthetic, Cloudland Canyon is now more orientated to the music of the hour on labels like Not Not Fun and 100% Silk. And a timeless bridge, bridging the gap between Lizzy Mercier Descloux, Trans Am (approx. »Sex Change«) and Tropic of Cancer. That makes »An Arabesque« amusing in quite a casual manner.

You can find the album »An Arabesque« by Cloudland Canyon at hhv.de: LP
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