Spacious soundscapes, evoking images of strange landscapes – and all created in the studio in real time on the bass guitar, using just a pedal board but no overdubs. As well as extraordinary atmospheric sounds, Serbian musician Uros Spasojevic’s work embraces gentle melodies, arpeggiated tones high on the neck of the instrument, and the blend on this new release is constantly absorbing.
I’ve been familiar with Uros’s work for a couple of years now, enjoying a memorable late-night performance at Klub Amerikana in the Dom Omladine centre during the Belgrade Jazz Festival.
This new self-published release, recorded in his home city of Valjevo, is his sixth album featuring his own compositions. Michael Tucker last year reviewed for Jazz Journal his previous album V, one of several collaborations with pianist Bojan Marjanovic, recorded at the celebrated Rainbow Studio in Oslo.
Winter Tales falls into three parts, all linked by the dream-like, understated style and skilled use of electronics for which the bassist is celebrated.
Opening with Tremor, Spasojevic creates sonorous bell-like tones on a loop before adding tremelo chords, and then the piercing cry of high notes, way beyond the natural scope of the instrument. The following track, One, is strongly percussive, while Wind (which concludes Part One) has flowing arpeggios without electronic embellishment, but with a higher lead line emerging.
Rain, which opens Part Two of the work, begins with electronic abstraction before echoing the arpeggios which introduced the previous track, while higher arpeggios characterise Sea, Song For JB, and the opening track on part three, Journey (Island II), while Tribute has ominously dark electronics, followed by wild distortion pedal effects on the composition Two, and softer, spacious electronics on the concluding track Senok.
Altogether an absorbing album, bold and imaginative, which listeners keen on spacious, electronic sounds will find rewarding.
Find out more at urosspasojevic.com
Part One: Tremor, One, Time, Wind (Island I); Part Two: Rain (Continuum Part 1), Breath, Sea, Look, Song For JB, Wave, Dream (Continuum Part 2); Part Three: Journey (Island II), Tribute, Two, Senok. Studio Kebak, Valjevo, Serbia, 2019-20 (72.00)
Spasojevic (bss g, effects). Studio Kebak, Valjevo, Serbia, 2019-20.