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Music Review

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Artist: Jens Carelius
Label: Jansen Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 13 September 2019

Jens Carelius's new album, Opsi, is available through the Jansen Records label. The LP is named after his great-great-grandfather Fritz "Opsi" Doerries, the entomologist, and was inspired by his travels through Eastern Siberia in the late 1800s...

An entomologist by trade, Doerries documented over 50,000 specimens of fascinating butterflies – many of them never-before-studied. His findings can today be found in museums all over the world and he even has a species of pygmy woodpecker named after him as it was first discovered in Siberia. He died at 101 years old, and left a diary chronicling, among other things, his hazardous oceanic voyages, the crossing of Japan by foot, surviving ice cold and merciless winters, but also endlessly beautiful summers.

Along with Lars Horntveth, Jens Carelius has created a soundtrack to his great-great-grandfather’s tales, helped greatly by Doerries diaries from that period of his life.

While, I loved the fact that this interesting man's story was told, it's not essential that you unearth it yourself... or even are aware that it's a tribute to a family member. But, it does help to add another, more personal side to the tracks, which aren't just some randomly thrown together tunes.

Like Doerries, the listener embarks on a voyage as these 8 songs (42 min, 12 sec) play out. Carelius transforms the album from one track to the next. 'The Weight' is one of it's most beautiful points, a guitar laden classical piece which slowly introduces an electronics background, before bringing in other instruments and finally the vocals.

'Bone-fire' is an engaging track, which has a segment that is very reminiscent of 'Paranoid Android' from Radio Head's 1997 album OK Computer.

The album works best when played in the order Carelius has carefully crafted. This is an entertaining and memorable collection of very different musical styles.


Nick Smithson

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