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Erik Dahl

Music For Small Rooms

Review by Gary Hill

I previously reviewed a set by the Erik Dahl Ensemble, but this is a solo set. I landed that one under prog, although it wasn't a slam dunk. Well, the same is true here. I consider this to be art music, and as such it fits under prog. This is often atmospheric or at least particularly sedate. Other than some non-lyrical vocals on the opener, it's also instrumental. While there are some other instruments at times, the main focus here is piano.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 6. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Postpop
Piano and non-lyrical vocals bring this in with a slow moving almost Todd Rundgren like vibe. This is very jazzy. It's also sedate and pretty.
Natural Home
I dig the cool jazz groove of this cut. It's still mellow, but it has a more filled out arrangement. There are some definite prog and fusion angles as this gets more powered up and involved as it continues. We're brought back to the earlier modes from there, but with more intensity. The proggier stuff also returns further down the road. It gets pretty hard rocking in this iteration. This instrumental piece is dynamic, dramatic and effective.
Tuva
With classical and jazz stylings seeming to merge, this piano solo is intriguing.
Gnista
Atmospherics create a backdrop for unusual piano soloing. This definitely lands in art music zones. There is a spooky vibe to it.
The Leopard
I love the piano on this number, and the way it grows. The arrangement also grows from just percussion at first to more developed rhythm lines and some atmospherics later.
Sparv
There is so much drama and magic in this. The cut has a real classical music angle to it. It's largely a piano solo, but I can hear other things over the top at points, more like synthesizer for flavor. It does get a bit louder and more involved later and those atmospherics really rise upward.
Mannen med bollen
A world music vibe is heard on this track.
Night Sky
There is a trippy, atmospheric feeling to this. It's spacey and mellow.
Between Heartbeats
I like the energy and groove on this cut. The arrangement is more full. This has spacey electronic textures, but also neo-prog leanings and more.
Børnevise fra Skibby
Unusual echoey sounds are on the menu as this gets underway. More standard piano takes over after a time, but there are some hints of spacey texture over the top of that.
 
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