Hardboiled Wonderland – As Small As A World (album review)

25 Aug

Hardboiled Wonderland is the very special duo of Martin Birke of GenrePeak and Percy Howard of Meridiem.

Each one of these two artists needs a short introduction that will help the listener understand why the album “As Small As A World” sounds like a musical box that opens up merging slightly jazziifed melodies with mesmerizing electrified atmospheres.

Percy Howard is the generator and impetus behind the Meridiem Project which has included cooperations with bassist, producer and record label owner Bill Laswell, multi-instrumentalist, composer and improvisor Fred Frith, the founder and primary songwriter of the heavy metal band Living Colour, Vernon Reid, virtuoso guitarist and multi instrumentalist Buckethead, singer, songwriter, and keyboardist Jarboe, Charles Hayward who played with This Heat, Gong, did sessions with Lora Logic, The Raincoats and Everything But the Girl and on one occasion played with the anarcho punk band Crass to finish here with Trey Gunn who played with King Crimson from 1994 to 2003…and the list goes on and on…

Three albums have been released under the Meridiem banner since 1998: “Meridiem”, “Incidental Seductions” and “A Pleasant Fiction”.

Prior to the creation of Meridiem, Percy was the singer of the band Nus which released two recordings through Sub Rosa, both produced by Bill Laswell.

He also contributed vocals to GenrePeak and this is where we find Martin Birke now…

Martin is the Drummer/Songwriter in Genre Peak & Hardboiled Wonderland.

He also toured & recorded with Sandbox Trio/CasualtyPark/ The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre /Complexions/Frank-Mark-Arts/Cyberdelia Records/Alpha Matter Soundworks…etc

Tou can read here an interview we had with Martin a long time ago (soon we’ll have a new one with him).

The 10 tracks of the album have a wonderful string orchestration and  Percy Howard finds the chance to exhibit what a great singerr he is while the music is write, composed and performed by Martin Birke.

A mixture of electronic trip-hop soundscapes and slightly distorted sounds strategically put here and there that would be very interesting to the fans of Barry Adamson and Massive Attack.

The album was released by Gonzo MultiMedia UK (formerly Voiceprint) on June 20 2011 and you can order it from here or amazon or CD Baby


Click here for the official Hardboiled Wonderland site.




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Posted by on August 25, 2011 in Music


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