If Nine Was Eight

KK 091LP KK 091LP

LP version. Austrian duo Ritornell present their third album, If Nine Was Eight, following Golden Solitude (KK 047CD, 2009) and Aquarium Eyes (KK 071CD/LP, 2013). The album sees percussionist Richard Eigner and pianist Roman Gerold create states of suspension and illusion that not only blur the lines between pop and art but also between acoustic and electronic sounds. The ambiguous beauty of their music has been compared to a detailed botanical still life -- one half-expects to see movement among the leaves. Contrabass flute, cello, piano, Rhodes -- these are only some of the ingredients that make up the ten tracks on If Nine Was Eight. Eigner and Gerold collaborate with a number of musicians on the album, including jazz tubist Jon Sass, saxophonist Werner Zangerle, and Swiss avant-garde percussionist Julian Sartorius. Flip Philipp, member of the Wiener Symphoniker, plays marimba and vibraphone. Various flutes are added by Norbert Trawöger, a prolific mediator between old and new music. Mira Lu Kovacs (Schmieds Puls) is responsible for the lyrics and vocals on the track "Old People," Viennese artist Mimu Merz (Book of Now) is once more a part of the team, and the soulful vocals on the track "Sleeping Alone" are courtesy of Tobias Koett of the duo Ant Antic. In Ritornell's protean live performances everything is flexible. Depending on the context, Eigner and Gerold dress their compositions in different guises -- dance tunes can morph into planar, cloudy soundscapes and vice versa. Thus they demonstrate that even if nine can never be eight, at least their music is full of possibilities.