For his fourth full length album, we see the proficiency of instrumentalist and composer Prins Emanuel in full bloom as he turns head deep into the techniques he established on the preceding outing of Diagonal Musik. Here, he revisit what he refers to as a diagonal approach in composing; i.e. starting at one point and then moving to the farthest point in the process, as a way for him to connect the dots somewhere in the middle, or - like I previously described it for the liner notes of that album - “something akin to drawing only shadows and then finishing with the contours”.
And in the tradition of great sequels, this is a much larger and intricate production. While relying on the guitar as a formative backbone to many songs, the layering of brass and woodwinds houses these compositions in bold and sharply lit structures. Mallets and percussion adds an air of momentum but also grounds these tracks in earthy hues.
Thawed and gracious, Diagonal Musik II in essence creates a space that bridges the various paths of Prins Emanuel’s musical universe. At once post-minimalist and avant garde in nature while also peeking through the door at both IDM and folk music, the lingering sensation is that of a well balanced palate that doesn’t break under the presence of repetition. Enveloped in a fourth world approach to jazz and incorporating the more contemplative side of post punk or art pop, there is a story hidden in here that gives cause to the appropriation of these influences.
The inherent warmth of certain instruments play their part in this story. Emanuel often builds on the notion of ‘organic music’ but broadens the definition via subtle electronic enhancements that sit naturally alongside their acoustic counterparts. Take for instance the voice emulator sequence that opens “Kadens Tre” and is dashed on by guitar slides and flute drills to roll further down a hill of staccato percussion. A few tracks in, the lines are so blurred it becomes a natural state until the harsh and eerie sample loops of closing track “Östan Vind” finally breaks the spell. ”
A1. Kadens Tre
A4. Västen Vind
A5. Naides PT.1
B1. Naides PT.2
B5. östan Vind