Album Review: “Pillow Talk Sessions 1” – Duski

Duski seem to be a band who metamorphasise into different forms musically…. According to their site:

It began as a chordless trio in darkest Wales comprising of sax, double bass and drums, then guitar and piano appeared. Jazz styles disappeared and heavy jams with collective improvising took its place. The piano morphed into different synthesisers and tape loops and the double bass cracked open to reveal its electric counter part.  Standard chord progression melted away to reveal the dark minimalist progressive rock band that is Duski.

  1. Single Room

This is an interesting piece to kick off with, just a short piece at 1.26, just the saxophone being played in an empty space, and I love the sound of this… Just reminds me of walking down the subway and hearing someone playing a mournful solo… Leads directly into…

  1. Horror Movies 

The saxophone is joined by a double bass to give it the “bottom” this is all played mainly in triplets, and it’s done really well, it doesn’t give me the creeps as the title might suggest, but it’s a lovely piece!

  1. Seasons Change

This starts off moodily, building up, lots of fluttering notes in there, this has a bit of an eastern flavour to it, and given the right amount of editing could be used in the background of say a Marvel or Lucasfilm scene. The double bass provides a melody too, doing it’s own thing…..

  1. Longride

This is probably my favourite track on the album, the double bass and sax take us on a bit of trip together, sometimes the double bass is playing two notes at the same time which I like to hear it’s very rare to hear that outside of jazz, and it’s joined with some harmonics in there too… The sax is really airy on this. There’s a theme that comes back again in this piece which really intrigues me… It sticks in your mind for a bit…

  1. Fox And The Squirrel.

The bass and sax are playing a chase here, I can’t decide which one’s the fox and which one’s the squirrel, but it gives you that image – I live in an area where foxes and squirrels co habit so now everytime I see them I’ll always think of this piece!

It’s a very playful piece and makes you imagine how the two are signifying this image, just purely by playing and teasing each other. It’s the circle of life.

  1. Too Early Gunslinger 

This is back to moody territory, I like the atmospheric feel of these tracks. Nice reverb, lending itself to the way these tracks sound, to me a good mix is just as important to the song as the song itself. This is so simple in the way it sounds nothing to distract the listener. I love the way it builds up with chromatic notes in runs and then settles to long passages. Probably my favourite track on the album. 

  1. Cascading 

The double and sax get all atmospheric the hypnotic melody on this got me… it’s really short at :46 seconds but it’s so nice building up and changing between two notes. Really effective! The notes go up and down, giving you the feeling of them being interconnected, I’m thinking visually you could just imagine listening to it while lying in the grass and watching stars fall to earth and landing beside around you but in a diagonal motion but interlocking as they descend. It’s the only way I can visualise it and I like it. 

  1. Eternal

This is frantic to begin with, the double bass is being played percussively I’m getting the feeling the bow is being struck against the side of it. The sax is played frantically and in a cascade of notes up against the double bass, it’s like it goes at speed then slows down, I like the way it links into the next track really effortlessly!

  1. Spinning 

The bow is out again, and I like the way it makes it sound like like a cello but not. The sax is playing drawn out notes to compliment the bass, and there’s no competition…. It’s just done so beautifully. It’s like one of those really tense moments in a film where everything is starting to unravel… 

That’s what I see when I hear this. I can just imagine the dialogue of an antogonist telling their side of the story when I hear this… 

  1. A Quiet Place 

The bass is delicately plucked on this, and the sax plays mournfully… 

You could easily listen to this in the dark and meditate on the day. Which is exactly what I’m doing now. Very mellow vibe on this.

This is my second favourite track on the album.

  1. Overlooked

The bass and bow are back and it’s doing most of the melody work on this while the sax does the long drawn out notes. It’s like something in a suspense film, and that build up to the discovery… That’s the kind of vibe I’m getting from it… 

  1. Cute

Ahh this is lovely! It’s nice and melodic falling into step with each other, it’s like I’m sat in an empty jazz bar, 3am and everyone’s gone home and I’m contemplating the night’s events…. It’s such a gorgeous melody to this. It just whisks my brain off to place I haven’t dared to think about since pre pandemic… Definitely my favourite track on the album. 

  1. Fade To Dreams

The bass is muted and it’s like it’s having a chase in notes with the sax… I like this idea, it’s a lovely way to close out the album, very teasing in the way it’s performed – don’t try and predict when the notes are going to be played you’d be surprised.. It’s like I can imagine the two musicians going head to head trying to predict where the other’s going to go. 

All in all a fab album, lots of soundscape to listen to. If you are looking for something unconventional to listen to, this is for you.

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