Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Rena Jones - Echoes Review

Artist: Rena Jones

Title: Echoes

Label: Cartesian Binary Recordings

Released: 1st April 2013

It’s been a while since Rena Jones last album “Indra’s Web” released in 2009 and this release takes a different direction as a live studio recording, collaborating with artists such as Sophie Barker who Rena has drafted in for two tracks. From the offset I had no doubt the combination of Rena’s production and Sophie’s vocals would be nothing short of high quality. The question I asked myself is could they create a track with such appeal as Zero 7’s “In The Waiting Line”. Even before listening I’d hazard a guess that you’d need to appreciate strings with your electronica, which to some may draw comparisons along the lines of Bardo State. Now although the concept may be similar the result is ultimately quite different. Getting back to the question in the case of the first track “Wishes” I think the answer could well be yes, as I certainly enjoyed it. While the latter track “Mirror, Mirror” has a haunting vibe to the music for me I think it will take more listens to see if it’s a grower.

Other collaborations on the album include amongst others the solo violinist Ilya Goldberg (who previously worked with Emancipator) on my personal favourite the title track “Echoes”.  Additionally Rena also employs Matt Robinson (who has previously worked with Bjork, Lamb and Bats For Lashes) on Modular Synth, Earl Harvin (who has previously worked with Seal and Air) on drums, Laura Scarborough (part of the Quintox Fusion collaborative) on grand piano and a woodwind orchestra. Now bearing in mind not only does Rena have considerable experience of the violin and cello but also sound engineering it’s a no-brainer for those with a taste for organic/electronic fusions with an orchestral edge to at least have a listen.


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