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January 2010 Articles
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Issue: January 2010

Land of Discovery

Aby Laby Land

A peaceful, steady stream of simple melodies left open for the audience to interpret helps to explain Louisville-based Aby Laby Land's Labyrinth. Each song has purposeful variations in tones and tempos that describe the beginning, the climax, and the end. The occasional vocal in combination with the illustrative titles weave together the discursive open album.

The album awakens with a steady upbeat instrumental melody mysteriously called "Zeno." Labyrinth continues on the upbeat stream with "Psalm to the Silent God". Singer David Jordan occasionally bellows the words "Oh, won't you sing to me," emphasizing the title of the song and in reference to the Hebrew Bible's Psalms, a book of songs.

Then Labyrinth moves playfully to "Wool Kitten" rendered noticeable by the smooth changes in tempo, but with a steady guitar and stable thumbing of a drum based melody. The tempo slows with "Troll Umbrella" that features a wailing melody and yet again the signature shift in tempo.

Labyrinth, even in its musical complexity, brings with it a simple group of songs for the listener to relax to. One song in particular, "Ballad for Trombone," articulates the full range of the album. The sound begins with a steady flow of the beat as if it were mimicking water traveling down a stream.

Next, "Ballad" maneuvers to a short precise tempo, where it switches to a fast steady beat that crescendos with intensity, and moves to a slow, but steady musical scale, back to fast, and then ends on a gentle musical scale. Labyrinth ends with "Before I was Awake" where the guitar speaks instead of a voice. The guitar tells an upbeat and meaningful story, as if everything makes sense before you wake up.

This local trio packs a concentrated punch of sound and musical complexity, fabulously conveyed in this album.

Visit www.myspace.com/abylabyland for more information.

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