LONG DISTANCE CALLING
Long Distance Calling's last two studio albums, 2013's 'The Flood Inside' and 2016's 'Trips', have seen the core German quartet stray from their instrumental predominance with the inclusion of vocals on a number of tracks, in the form of Martin “Marsen” Fischer on the former and Petter Carlson's incredible voice on both. They'd previously only dabbled with including singing here and there, with fleeting contributions to occasional tracks on their early works by Peter Dolving, Jonas Renkse and John Bush. So, it would be a natural presumption that Long Distance Calling were firming up a vocal-inclusive future...
Not so, as it transpires. 'Boundless', their new album, sees the band revert back to a vocal-free approach, with the entire album devoid of singing. However, that's the only regression at play here. Exclusively instrumental 'Boundless' might be, but it's all about progression. Long Distance Calling have not only progressed with their stylistic palette, but also with the depth of emotional expression, on an album that I can quite confidently declare as their meisterwerk. Their magnum opus.
When you're a band like Long Distance Calling; where you're able to convey a wide array of emotional variance through instrumentations alone, the absence of vocals matters not. 'Boundless' is an album characterised by many different textures, moods, atmospheres and emotions. When a band's instrumental prowess speaks to, exhilarates, elates and moves your very being in all kinds of emotionally divergent ways, why clog up its essence with vocals?
The ease with which they convey emotional variance both within and between tracks is astounding. It's no surprise the band consider this to be "the purest LDC album ever". Compositions certainly do carry a vibe of pure, organic, naturally flowing sonic affluence. There are no musically stilted passages or awkward transitions on the entire album. It all sounds and flows wonderfully and effortlessly, and comes across as being untainted by any degree of over-thinking.
On an album with ambient passages, bursts of heavied-up fury, and everything in-between, tracks feel like emotionally enriching journeys... just as they did on the aptly named 'Trips'. However, for me, 'Boundless' is a notch above that one. Long Distance Calling's decision to express themselves purely through instrumental means was an incredibly wise one. Amazing stuff!
Review by Mark Holmes
2nd February 2018
1) Out There
3) In the Clouds
4) Like a River
5) The Far Side
6) On the Verge
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"Long Distance Calling have not only progressed with their stylistic palette, but also with the depth of emotional expression, on an album that I can quite confidently declare as their meisterwerk. Their magnum opus."