The enigmatic JP Rossi is the man behind Unquiet Music Ltd, which is “both a concept and a company”, formed in 2019 to promote the questing experimentalism of its founder. In The Name Of… (A Prayer For Our Times) is a fairly straightforward and self-explanatory title, but that’s as literal as we get, for once the strange introductory piece gets underway, gently bubbling up through metaphorical floorboards, you just know that this journey is on a road less travelled.
Several musicians both known and unknown appear on the various tracks, including left-field luminaries such as Trey Gunn and Markus Reuter, those two adding weight to a project that crosses between musical universes with paranormal ease. The cyclical guitars of Frédéric L’Epée and the Touch Guitars® of Cédric Theys, combined with a string section make for a simply gorgeous piece of wistful and soulful musical pass the parcel on Conditional cases. The following Atomisation is messing with songcraft in a thoroughly beguiling manner, and is the only lyric on the album. It asks the BIG questions, but you can’t dance to it, outside your head, at least. The introspection of Edward Maitland uses a disembodied robotic voice to quote a passage from the Carl Jung book The Secret of The Golden Flower, attributed to Maitland, a nineteenth century writer and occultist. Very odd indeed!
There is an extraordinary amount of detail in these tracks, and the production by Markus Reuter is superb, every nuance can be picked out. Although this may fall under ambience it is of a kind where you sit up and take notice rather than zone out. It also has to be said, especially in a time where many column inches and social media threads are given over to discussing the way overt influences are used by a particular rather well-known (in this pond at least!) artist, that spotting obvious tropes in In The Name Of… is nigh on impossible. Instead, imagine if you will Messiaen, Stockhausen, Herbie Hancock, Brian Eno, Frank Zappa, Steve Reich, Mike Oldfield, and Tim Blake getting all squelchy. The love child they produce is a many-headed and indefinable hydra that precludes any expectations.
Although the album is split into eleven tracks, it plays as one continuous, and, as Markus Reuter quite rightly puts it, “insane long-form opus”. That may have resulted in a disjointed mess, but it is surprisingly coherent. As JP says: “The form is a musical mandala in four pieces, based on the traditional prayer In the name of the father…. The music should really be considered as a single piece, a prayer, a vessel to be embarked in a travel through our modest but also ambitious condition”. To complete the process, there is also a full-length video made to accompany the music. It is a highly immersive experience, akin to being in an audio-visual flotation tank.
The music was made as an attempted aural transcription of dreams, which goes some way to explaining its otherworldly essence. Music to watch NASA Perseverance home movies from Mars to!
… The father [Individuation] 22:53
01. Hallowed be thy Name [Anaerobic awakening] (6:03)
02. Thy kingdom come [Feeling unity] (6:34)
03. Thy will be done [Conditional cases] (10:16)
… The son [Atomisation] 10:17
04. Our daily bread [Monopolizing spaces] (5:59)
05. Our trespasses [Producing symmetries] (4:25)
… The holy spirit [Co-inherence] 14:24
06. But I can forgive [A sound of Now] (1:52)
07. The temptation of time [A Mosaic return] (5:35)
08. Soul delivered [A lullaby for Uma Devi] (3:54)
09. Since I can forgive [Another sound of Now] (2:56)
Amen [Transcendence] 21:23
10. Inner glory [The introspection of Edward Maitland] (12:24)
11. So be it, actually [Post-Epiphany] (8:59)
Total Time – 68:57
Khliff Miziallaoua – Percussion (The father), Acoustic Guitars (The father), Electric Guitar (The son), Bass Voice (Amen)
Frédéric L’Epée – Gibson Les Paul Custom & Parker Fly Guitars Guitars (The father’s quartet) Cédric Theys – Touch Guitars® AU8 (The father, The son)
Samira Brahmia – Voice (The son, The holy spirit, Amen)
Trey Gunn – Warr Guitars® (The father, The son, The holy spirit)
Markus Reuter – Touch Guitars® AU8 (The holy spirit)
Karim Ziad – Acoustic Drums (The son)
Gauthier Dymon – Voice (The son, Amen)
Elea Barta – Soprano Voice (Amen)
Raphaël Terreau – Tenor Voice (Amen)
Brice Modard – Bass Voice (Amen)
Alyssa Ait Hammou – Violin (The father)
Caroline Berry – Viola (The father)
Christophe Jeannin – Cello (The father)
Lukas Carillo – Double Bass (The father)
Groove design on The son by Karim Ziad
Lullaby improvisation on The holy spirit by Markus Reuter
Solo improvisation on The holy spirit by Trey Gunn
Record Label: Independent
Countries of Origin: International
Date of Release: 25th December 2020