Album Review: Junip “Fields”

Album Review: Junip “Fields”

Artwork from junip.net

City Slang SLANG747888  – 2010

Junip are Jose Gonzalez (guitar and vocals), Elias Araya (drums) and Tobias Winterkorn (keyboards).  What seems a long time ago, I reviewed the second Jose Gonzalez album  In Our Nature” and was bitterly disappointed at the amount of compression that had been applied to it, making it almost unlistenable.  “Fields” sounds compressed but it’s nowhere as badly done.  This is great, because there’s some really good music on here.

Gonzalez plays a classical guitar and the nylon strung instrument sits very differently in the mix of keyboards and drums that a steel strung instrument would.  Notes are more rounded and while lacking the sparkle of steel strings, they have a warmth and fullness.  Unusually, there’s an edge of distortion applied at times as well.

Keyboards sit around the classical guitar, occupying the tonal space above and below the guitar.  There’s an analogue warmth to them, with washes of distortion spread over the pulsing lower frequencies.  The drumming is mostly minimal with an obvious lack of cymbals.

The more you play “Fields” the more it becomes apparent how unusual these combinations of sounds are.  Everything with the exception of the vocals is rolled together producing a dense and textured mid-range.  It requires a degree of concentration to listen to.  It borders on self-effacing and it’s easy to let it roll quietly into the background.  Concentrate though and the songs on “Fields” reward with a quiet intensity.  Play it more than once, in fact leave it on repeat for a while.  It is a properly unusual album and I suspect more than a little demanding of the system it’s played on.  Nigel Finn

Categories:

Album Reviews

Tags:

City Slang Drums Fields Guitar In Our Nature Jose Gonzalez Junip Keyboards

Share:

No comments yet, why not be the first?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *