ALBUM REVIEW FEB 2017
Glacier is a vast canvas of aural paintings featuring ambient collages, chants, and sound effects, tied together by haunting meditative and often experimental jazz. It’s at times slow and chilling, like its namesake, at others, warm and spiritual in nature. Although there are individual tracks on the album with brief moments of silence between them, listening, I find it more like one whole piece of music, as themes recur and moods slowly shift: from the pure, crystal chill of Lilies, with its ringing bells and echoing trumpet; to the warm and easy groove of Once Again, with its vibrant acoustic guitar; to deep, profound moments like Ablation, with its spacey drones and half chanting, half singing voices.
I particularly like way Dahlman and his producer Mike Mayo have mixed this album, creating deep layers of sound without ever making it muddy. Every layer is clearly heard, the deeper you listen. The ears pick this on every track as ambient textures, mysterious melodies, percussion and natural sounds fade in and out, weave around each other, creating a hallucinatory dreamscape, a shamanic journey open to rich interpretations. Some of the tracks off the album can be heard in the movie The Bear Cult, a documentary about man’s relationship with bears, from prehistoric times to present day. I can hear that temporal dynamic echoing throughout the music on Glacier, as sometimes it feels ancient and primal, with the sounds of nature and deep earthy drones, but at other times it can bring you into the modern era with hummable melodies and the background noise of civilization.
I heartily recommend this to fans of artists like John Hassell, Brian Eno, even Miles Davis. This is jazz, but like those great artists that came before, it pushes the boundaries of what both jazz and music in general can do. But Eric Dahlman does it in a way that’s not harsh to the ears; exotic, maybe, but always a pleasure to listen to.
For more info, and to purchase the album, visit: ericdahlman1.bandcamp.com/album/glacier
Also check out: www.bearcultmovie.com
New album from Eric Dahlman is mind-expanding free jazz
Eric Dahlman - Glacier
BY STACEY ZERING
JANUARY 17, 2017
(Log In or Sign Up to Follow Contributor)
The transcendent free jazz of Eric Dahlman defies easy categorization. On his latest album Glacier, Dahlman swings open the curtains that reveal another state of mind, where music is liberated from any stylistic and melodic shackles. The creativity on vivid display here are not compromised by any commercial considerations; this is songcraft as poetry, blooming with interesting colors and mind-expanding atmospherics.
Dahlman utilizes the trumpet in a unique, cerebral fashion, as a melodic undertow to layers of sonic experimentation. The icy heights of "Plastic" are exhilarating and spellbinding. Kelly Spyglass' disembodied, ethereal vocals give the track a ghostly allure as the ambient sounds around her add tension and feeling. Overall, it's as if Dead Can Dance jammed with Radiohead and Miles Davis. Its otherworldly weirdness is a trip on headphones. More extraterrestrial magic can be found on "Accordia," reeling in some world music influence in its treatment of avant-garde jazz. Shaw Pong Liu's fiery violin delivers the sizzle.
Among the most striking cuts on Glacier is "Esopus Creek." Dahlman reflective trumpet and Steve Ellison's meditative guitar conjure images of Mother Nature eroded by global warming as the Earth's tears are captured by running water. Whether or not that is Dahlman's intention remains the subject of interpretation, but for a record to produce such deep thoughts already make it an incredible experience.
Selections appear in the film "The Bear Cult"
released February 1, 2016
Recorded by Mike Mayo
Mixed by Mike Mayo & Eric Dahlman
Creative Consultant and Slinky - Michael Knoblach
Catskill River & Ochre
Recorded by Steve Ellison & Mike Mayo
Mixed by Steve Ellison, Mike Mayo & Eric Dahlman
Recorded by Martin Carrillo at HEARDRUM Studios in Burbank CA
Mixed by Steve Ellison & Eric Dahlman
Produced by Martin Carrillo & Steve Ellison
Mastered by Jeff Lipton at Peerless Mastering, Boston MA
Assistant Mastering Engineer Maria Rice
Original Artwork by Stanley Dahlman
Visual Design by Aileen Wong
Thanks: Aaron Novy, Mark Soden, Greg Burrell, Michael Terry, Nicholas Zagoreos, Bruno Caruso, Chris Ball, Tyler Lenane, Keith Cotlier, Leanne Smith, Will Garre, Allyson Sherlock, Jim Boyd, Michelle Perera, Adrian Durbin, Al, Ron Pront, Jorel Fermin, Mary & Dave Johnson, John Baylies, Mark Sicignano, Raymond Henker, Gary Mayo, Judy & Don Mayo, J. Patrick Mayo, Dejobaan Games, Reed Lowrie, Greg Sirianni, Alan R, Raven Solomon, Jim Warshauer, Oana Ghiocel and The Bear Cult, Kirsten Durbin, Aileen Wong, Michael Knoblach, Erik Nugent, Glenn Jones, Steve Ellison, Rakalam Bob Moses, Stanley and Lucille Dahlman