Racing Junior / Nail
John McEntire agreed to produce Norwegian post-rock quintet Salvatore after hearing their third album, and Tempo exudes the result of their collaboration. Salvatore has obviously spent some time listening to McEntire’s work with Tortoise, Gastr Del Sol and The Sea and Cake, as this collaboration blurs the musical distinctions between Salvatore and McEntire. Salvatore has grown over the course of their previous outings; they have gotten to a point where they’re able to communicate their ideas in a far more impressive manner than before. Tempo, then, is their strongest, most focused release yet.
Intellectually, this isn’t as stimulating as McEntire’s most exciting work. Salvatore favors dynamic tension and emotionality over cerebral conceptualization. The songs move patiently along, uneven melody lines sit neatly on top of jagged and haunting backing rhythms, creating a sense of dreamy, lush music with an uneasy nerve to it. The music moves in circles but maintains an eye on direction and development. Their musical shifts are more dependent on extended dynamics than on the progressive developments or epileptic time signatures of their peers.
As such, this has more in common with Gastr Del Sol than Tortoise. But whichever you prefer, there is little doubt that Tempo is one of the more satisfying post-rock releases in quite some time, proving that the oft-maligned genre isn’t quite played out yet.
Racing Junior: www.racingjunior.com/