Artist: Uros Spasojevic
Album: Winter Tales
Year Of Release: 2020
Quality: FLAC (tracks)
04. Wind (Island 1)
05. Rain (Continuum pt. 1)
09. Song for J.B
11. Dream (Continuum pt. 2)
12. Journey (Island 2)
In his book Sculpting in Time, filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky (as translated by Kitty Hunter-Blair) once wrote, “[T]he infinite cannot be made into matter, but it is possible to create an illusion of the infinite: the image.” Yet the latter term could be replaced by any number of others, and in this case music is the viable substitution. Electric bassist Uros Spasojevic’s Winter Tales is indeed an illusion of the infinite. Better, then, to invite its sister concept of the image back into play, as neither seems exclusive in the present soundscape.
We might point to unintended references throughout the album. The near-subliminal ticking of “Time” simultaneously evokes the tense psychological terrains of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar and the ambient classicism of Aphex Twin’s “Leaves.” Every internal pulse is indicative of some external provocation—invisible yet real enough to be experienced in sequence. Such faith is omnipresent throughout the session. Recorded live in the studio without overdubs, it severs our attention from earthly things in favor of interdimensional songs, shedding familiar associations in the barbs of new event horizons.
That said, one finds hints of a collective past in the final “Senok.” Grounded in an arpeggio floating in space but out of time, it is the third iteration of a piece that appeared on Spasojevic’s debut and on his last album, V. In this, and all tracks leading up to it, beats an imaginative heart, and as such activates echo chambers of our own—for despite the digital means of communication, its language feels acoustic to the touch.
Generally speaking, we find themselves steeped in one of two modes: suspended or grounded. In the former vein, we encounter such looser constructions as “Look” and “Two,” in which hints of lifetimes beyond our own mingle with elegies yet to be born. Among these, the opening “Tremor” is a spiritual calling card that stacks the deck for all to come, while “Breath” turns the known into the unknown (if not also the other way around) with its misty overlay. Like “Tribute,” it’s a nod to our need for peace, unity, and inner sanctums.On the measured side of the spectrum, we find ourselves tangled in the climates of “Wind” and “Rain.” Each is a sincere letter of the inner voice, and pulls us back to earth with “Song for J.B.” The influence of its dedicatee (Jakob Bro) lingers like a morning sun that sets almost as quickly as it rises.
Here we have an album of seemingly contradictory organs sharing the same body and blood. Cyclicity is paramount, an atmospheric feeling that touches the mind and fills its void with more void so that our spirit has room to write itself as it goes along. And so, tempting as it is to dub Winter Tales as a soundtrack without a film, such a characterization assumes that cinema needs images at all. Are the flickers of the mind more fleetingthan those upon a screen? Are they not in infinite supply? If so, then perhaps the soul is an adequate surface on which to project these melodies, each a character with something to say and a story to introduce.