When I got the latest Jean-Marc Lederman album, I didn’t listen to it straight away. It was stored on my PC for quite some time before I finally listened to it; not only that, but it took me some time to publish this review. I know that Jean-Marc is an exceptional artist and I knew that the music I would hear probably wouldn’t be so easy to comprehend. I can’t say I was surprised by the sound or the idea, knowing Jean-Marc is a diverse artist, and this album deserves real understanding and deep insight into his world of art.
The Space Between Worlds can be described as an art gallery exhibition because the sounds basically become paintings. There are layers and textures to be discovered and this album will not please the casual listener. You need to devote your time and your intellect to it, and there are not too many people who would be willing to do so. The album is entirely instrumental; you won’t find any catchy moments or formal song structures here. Instead, you will find sound experimentation. However, every piece on this album is exactly how the artist intended it to be. “Enter The Dragonette” plays with the repetitive elements which create a buzzy and darkly painted chant. “The Dark Frontier” intensifies the atmosphere and produces the unsettling feeling of something just about to happen. If Jean-Marc was really inspired by the birds’ shrieks, it’s hard to imagine what he had experienced. Except from the occasional piercing sound which can be heard throughout the song, I couldn’t really connect what I was hearing to the chatting of the birds. He wakes us up from this disquieting episode with “Map of the World”, a lullaby-like melodic piece. It’s on us to imagine if Jean-Marc depicts the world of nature or something else. I believe this album is free for you to make your own interpretation, with just a slight suggestion coming from the track titles. “Experimenting a Little Chaos” doesn’t sound like chaos at all. This track comes closer to the recognizable music format which most of us can identify with. It offers light and uplifting melody and wonderfully created and arranged soundscapes. Orchestrated “Agatha” again evokes feelings of unease and unpredictability by being disharmonious in some moments and offering harmony in the others. While “Chunkey Monkey” is an utterly playful piece, “Awool” is a complete opposite. It’s heavy, minimalistic and almost stifling. “The Kitchen Door Is Open” creates the same uneasy atmosphere and there is something rather obscure and almost sinister-like about it. The artist balances the overall feel by shifting between more ghastly and lighter moments on the album. “The Italian Job” feels ethereal, rather light, although it may sound melancholic. Maybe if I had listened more to Stravinsky or Stochausen, I would have had the greater capacity to understand “Strong Expectations”. You really have to have an insight into modern classical composers’ work to fully understand this creation. The weight of the complexity is lifted with “Triplets Are Better Than Twins” and “Darker Snare” introduces even experimental jazz elements. The last two tracks “The Man From Oslo” and “Exit The Dragonette” are my favourites, but I will let you discover them for yourself. Listening to this album feels more like listening to the soundtrack. There are many layers of sounds and great arrangements to be discovered and felt. You really need to let go of all the boundaries that the traditional musical forms impose upon you when listening to this album. Only if you’re willing to embrace diversity and let yourself be introduced to the freedom of artistic expression, you are on the right way to enjoy this unique and superb piece of art. Thank you, Jean-Marc, for spreading our horizons and making us richer with this exquisite sound experience.