This is one extended track (24 min); which begins in a somewhat ethereal, almost ambient, style. It picks up rhythmically underneath De Biasio's dreamy vocal until a midpoint instrumental section, morphing into a bluesy ending. I like this, it's well done, well played.
Much lauded since the release of No Deal, her second album in 2014, Melanie De Biasio is pleased to announce details of a new composition Blackened Cities released on 20th May through Play It Again Sam.
Revered in her native Belgium and often refereed to as the Belgian Billie Holiday, the classically trained flautist and vocalist was heralded by Gilles Peterson on the release of No Deal as one the most exciting artists in the jazz world. A series of reworkings from various artists curated by Peterson resulted in the acclaimed No Deal Remixed album. Together with long-term musical associates, pianist Pascal Mohy, Pascal Paulus on vintage synths, Samuel Gerstmans on double bass and drummer Dre Pallemaerts, Blackened Cities continues to see De Biasio mine an extraordinary vein of immersive splendour.
Taking inspiration from a post-industrial landscape, a backdrop of unexpected hope rediscovered in cities such as Manchester, Detroit, Bilbao and De Biasio’s home city of Charleroi, Blackened Cities emerges… As De Biasio says “I don’t think anyone, including me, was expecting a 25-minute piece which wasn’t a successor to No Deal, or anything other than a collection of new songs. I followed what the music told me, like a gut feeling.”
The ensemble creates an emotive and sensuous presence, coming into earshot on a ripple of orchestration patiently awaiting De Biasio’s introduction. The rhapsody that froths and foams for nearly half an hour surpasses the song format. Blackened Cities rolls and swells with both a physical sensation and intimate journey encapsulating the instantaneous origins of its birth, undergoing minimal post-production, as De Biasio adds; “everything or almost everything was there in that collective moment on an autumn afternoon…”