Bremer/McCoy

Utopia

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AllMusic Review by

There are some albums that beg to be listened to from beginning to end in one sitting; Brian Eno's Music for Airports, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, and Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians come to mind. The fourth album (and Luaka Bop debut) from Danish instrumentalists Bremer/McCoy, 2019's Utopia, is also one of those albums. Featuring the talents of bassist Jonathan Bremer and keyboardist/tape delay artist Morten McCoy, Utopia showcases the duo's expansive, often hypnotic jazz-, dub-, and classical-influenced sound. Aesthetically, their intimate sound falls somewhere in between Keith Jarrett, Paul Winter, and Mike Oldfield without ever borrowing too heavily from any one source. Together, they create a soft tonal palette that relaxes you as much as it draws you deeper into its harmonic colorscape. They also add strings on several cuts here, which further lends a rich, vinyl-era texture to their sound. While each of the 12 tracks on Utopia displays the duo's talent for crafting intensely melodic songs, there's a flowing, interconnected quality to the album, as if each track lead to the next one, pulling you along its spectral journey. The opening "Åben Bog" is a sad classical piano piece that brings to mind an overcast fall day. Conversely, "Højder," with its crystalline piano figure and Latin-esque pulse, conjures images of arid moonscapes. With Utopia, Bremer/McCoy have crafted an absolutely intoxicating instrumental experience that commands your attention from the moment it starts and entices you to linger in its womb-like atmosphere long after it ends.

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