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Fabula Review

by Fran├žois Couture

Rune Grammofon's press release places Skyphone's debut album alongside those by Phonophani and Alog, but it doesn't have the former's quirkiness or the latter's edge. Truth be told, the tunes on Fabula are graceful and nice, but also harmless and devoid of strong character. The Danish trio's instrumental tunes offer an interesting combination of electronic and acoustic instruments, whether sampled or played. They all share a similar medium tempo, left-right blinking electronic patterns (Phonophani's digital music boxlike layers), and a stripped-down skeleton strongly reminiscent of post-Tortoise post-rock. There are also hints of electro-jazz (especially in "Gossamer," alluringly groovy, like a lightly digitized version of the Necks) and something of the dreamy Scandinavian spirit often found in Rune Grammofon releases (the acoustic guitars in "Oleana," reminiscent of Tape). These are all strong points, elements that should have come together to make a great album. So what is missing from Fabula? It's difficult to tell, but the album remains resolutely on lukewarm mode from start to finish and, despite a resourceful use of the acoustic instrumentation, tracks are too similar to one another. The listener comes out of the album with barely a track title sticking out and, however cute and pleasant Fabula is, one forgets about it before the end of the day.

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