Review by Wonderful Wooden Reasons:

Iri Li - Broken Summer
(ContraMusikProduktion CMP20)
Iri Li.... who is also one of the people behind the intriguingly named ContraMusikProduktion (and no, I haven't forgotten the spaces).  Contra...Music? What a bold assertion to make.  I thoroughly approve but it's a hell of a title to live up to don't you think?  My dictionary defines 'contra' as meaning 'opposite' or 'against' (it also defines it as a 'Nicaraguan counter revolutionary movement' but I think we can discount that one).  So, 'opposite music productions' or 'against music productions'.  Being a record label I would imagine the first of those two options is the more likely and after listening to this album I think it's also the most apropos. 
This is music with a decidedly 'opposite' mindset.
Broken Summer sees Iri Li taking a wide variety of 'traditional' instruments (voice, synth, violin, gong, theremin, piano and more), mixing these with some unidentified home-made instruments and then adding a variety of nicely sourced field-recordings to create a set of creepy and mind-bending compositions.  It's obtuse, wilful, contrary, sad, whimsical, intense, wistful, bombastic and melancholic but what I like most about this album is it's all these things without ever forgetting that while it is great fun being 'contra-music' it is still the 'music ' aspect of that definition that drew us into this awkward little corner of the world in the first place and that keeps us searching (whether as musicians or listeners) for that elusive fix.  'Contra' is fine but without the 'music' part it can quickly degenerate into pointless navel-gazing or worthless flailing but that is never the case here. Iri Li has produced 12 separate pieces that combine to create one seamless whole.


Close this site!