Even though the name ‘Poems From a Rooftop’ is inspired by politics – fear of direct protest against the authorities in Iran which led the revolutionaries to their own rooftop to raise – the music evolving this concept is much more abstract and calm that a listener would expect after reading such introduction. The saxophone and clarinet of Roger Döring and Oliver Doerell’s piano and guitar calm, mystify, purr but certainly don’t protest. In contrast to their older work (such as Vertigo released six years ago) Dictaphone invited a violinist Alexander Stolze, whose gentle pizzicato and smooth touches of the bow to the string enrich the rather grayish combination of warm acoustics with electronic manipulations. Jazz-soaked compositions flow in their own tempo which invokes a mysterious calm masterfully evolved by this trio.
Probably the most impressive piece of these nine poems is the introductory ‘The Conversation.’ Few seemingly incoherent tones of saxophone open the album, but the fine strumming of Doerell’s guitar is the key there to fully introduce Poems in a shady way which stimulates imagination and suggests various emotions. It’s that moment of stopping doing all around and entirely focusing on the single sound of a simple, but sophisticated melody. The structure is tightly constructed and still, Dictaphone made it pretty open to any evolution with subconscious (and compositionally mature) intention to vary and improvise on it later. Subtle percussion, ephemeral fragments of violin-led melody and saxophone’s accompaniment to the front-lighted guitar make this piece the warmest and in the same time the least approachable out of the entire ‘Poems From a Rooftop.’ Then a nice contrast to their abstract, hazy sound is the extremely material and unique packaging from the creative studio Sonic Pieces. Palpable, physical and misty in the same moment.
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