GEORGE KOREIN AND THE SPLEEN - When The World Gets Out Of Prison

George Korein and the Spleen - When The World Gets Out Of Prison

7 songs
21:04 minutes
***** ****


The ongoing pandemic has had a lot of impact on musicians. While they hardly can play any live shows, they do have more time to write new music. George Korein may wish that the world gets finally out of prison, but his inspiration hasnít suffered in 2020 when he released at least six EPs. 2021 doesnít look any worse for him, with When The World Gets Out Or Prison not only being his first EP of the year, but also one of his most ambitious efforts yet.

If you dismiss the two short intros, you are left with five songs averaging four minutes each. Thatís quite longer than his miniature tracks he often and regularly released in the past. With the help of many guest musicians, he made sure to flesh out his tracks, making them overall more accessible. Another impressive feat is how no two tracks sound the same on this new EP.

The half minute short intro Overture sounds like a stripped down Come On Eileen, before the title track offers some scrumptious Dixieland jazz with a certain funeral parlour atmosphere. The song has a catchy melody, great lead guitar interaction between DM Hotep (Sun Ra Arkestra) and Alex Vallejo and some fun trombone and sousaphone parts. Broken In My Life Shoes is a melancholic piece, the way George Korein has written in the past, and therefore the only less surprising moment on the album. Wewe Gqombel is then a surprise hit, performed by Korein and a couple of Javanese musicians. The mix of trippy gamelan, Indonesian vocals and Koreinís voice that reminds of a young David Byrne, plus added techno beats remind me of the stuff Ofra Haza did with great success in the mid-eighties. Maybe this could be Koreinís door to commercial recognition?

Going Underture is another short intro, leading into The Scroll Of Doom which on the surface sounds like another sad Korein track, but layers of cellos, oboes and bassoons add an undeniable avantgarde touch that reminded me of certain Henry Cow and Art Bears compositions, meaning this is great mature stuff! The EP ends with Red Pandas In The Blue Hour, featuring Jesse Krakow (Time Of Orchids, PAK, Fast 'N' Bulbous) on bass guitar. Itís another mellow track, with warm clarinet parts and spacy keyboard sounds that give it all a certain new age touch, like lying in a warm spacious cave full of crystals.

As George Korein is a very industrious artist, it can happen that now and then one of his EPs doesnít hit bullís eye, but with When The World Gets Out Of Prison, he really hit that sweet spot where you canít stop being awed by his extraordinary musical vision. Dixieland, avantgarde doom, ethno techno beats, new age all happening over the course of twenty minutes, without the whole feeling disjointed is quite an achievement. This is a good starting point for anyone not yet familiar with the large body of work by George Korein.

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