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Jozef Van Wissem - The Joy That Never Ends [Important Records - 2011]

“The Joy That Never Ends” is the third album to appear on Important Records by Dutch lutenist Jozef Van Wissem. And like his other releases it once again finds him setting his lute playing in a modern, emotional, atmospheric sonic place.

The past two Important albums(It Is All That Is Made & Ex Patris  saw both from 09) saw Van Wissem purely creating his song craft from just many layers of lute, but this new album sees him joined by two guest in the form of Jeanne Madic (of experimental folk meets abstract classic project Vanishing Twins). And cult film maker Jim Jarmusch whose directed the likes of Dead Man, Broken Flowers , and Down By Law- Madic adds her sultry French spoken word vocals to two tracks, and Jarmusch adds subtle rudimentary but effective electric guitar textures to one track. These two sonic addition work well with-in the frame work of Van Wissem song craft, and they add a melancholic and lo-fi emotional edge to proceedings.

Otherwise the albums tracks follow a similar path to Van Wissem  past work- layers of plucked, picked and strummed lute that’s he imbeds with a harmonic and atmospheric heart. Each track here is hypnotic and intricate yet minimal and repetitive, and as an whole the album really sucks you into an exquisite and gold sound world that has more than  little of a melancholic and timeless feel about it.

There are few artists who can take such an ancient and distinctive sounding instrument as the Lute, and make it sound relevant, emotional & atmospheric- but that exactly what Van Wissem mangers here. So if you enjoy instrumental stringed music that’s entrancing, melodic rich, detailed and atmospheric then you’ll very much enjoy this.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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