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Girls in Airports | Fables

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‘Fables’ is the highly anticipated 4th album from acclaimed Danish group ‘Girls in Airports’. Founded on stories that resonate in a deeply and emotional way with the listener, Fables is one of the most interesting musical encounters you will experience.

MARTIN STENDER saxophone
LARS GREVE saxophones and clarinets
MATHIAS HOLM keys
VICTOR DYBBROE percussion
MADS FORSBY drums

Tracklisting

1. Fables 3.11
2. Sea Trail 2.49
3. Randall’s Island 5.52
4. Mammatus 3.10
5. Aftentur 3.53
6. Aeiki 5.21
7. Dovetail 5.07
8. Yola 3.50
9. Episodes 4.51

Reviews for ‘Fables’:

“Brilliant, brilliant album…I’ve been getting so much response…it’s a definite winner!” GILLES PETERSON BBC RADIO 6 MUSIC

“The vibe is generally breathy & expansive but there is variety and depth aplenty…it’s often easy to lose yourself in the melodies & rhythms…” HiFi+

“Girls in Airports make a sound that really is utterly unique…electronic, yet strangely bohemian at the same time…” THE JAZZ HOUSE, BBC RADIO SCOTLAND (UK)

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About ‘Fables’:

Airports are a unique human habitat: places of wonder and excitement that offer the magical ability to be standing next to someone in the morning and on the other side of the world by the afternoon. They are, in JG Ballard’s phrase, gateways to infinite possibilities. They also attract emotions, resonating with the joy of meeting, the sadness of parting, fear and exhilaration. In Fables Girls in Airports synthesize these emotional states in a concise and profoundly personal way.

Girls in Airports’ story is as peculiar as their name and follows the skewed logic of the airport. Formed by a group of friends and fellow students from Copenhagen, initially gigs were local and on the small side – parties, small clubs. One early concert was in a record shop in the hip Nørrebro district where the band is based. The shop was tiny and soon packed out. It happened that two promoters were in town, a Chinese agent and one from Brazil. Both had heard about this new band and come down to check them out – unfortunately they couldn’t get in but must have been impressed by what they saw and heard through the window as the band were offered tours in China and Brazil. Without any management or a record deal Girls in Airports had become an international touring sensation. South Korea, New York, Germany, Portugal, London and Belfast soon followed.

Fables is founded on stories like this – stories inspired by locality – the collective experience of living in Copenhagen, the musicians’ lives, stories of touring, hours in the band bus. Another story concerns the name – a random selection, apparently, but one that has caused consternation for taxi drivers meeting them at arrivals. Imagine holding that sign saying Girls in Airports…

Fables is at least partly influenced by the great bass player Charlie Mingus – Mingus was an early working title. His composition Fables of Faubus was playing in the background as the album was made – perhaps not directly influencing the music but working insidiously on the sub-conscious creative process. The way that Mingus rehearsed with the famous Jazz Workshop and the way he played with a band rather than the usual loose collection of musicians common at the time resonates with the collective ethos of Girls in Airports and links their musical influences to the cultural and intellectual experience of tolerant, free thinking Copenhagen.

Girls in Airports is very much a collective, and this is evident in the way they make music. As Martin Stender, the main composer and saxophonist, says: “A tune starts with me playing an unfinished idea on the piano. I am not a pianist so it sounds like a children’s song or a very slow jazz ballad. Keyboard player Mathias will immediately sit down and do a much better version without looking at the notes I have scribbled down. Then the drummers add a rhythmic layer that changes the whole thing into something else and then saxophonist Lars will make all of us follow him into some third place we’ve never been before. It is quite easy to write new tunes for this band”.

The stories that they tell in their music are varied, colourful and unique. The ambient sound-scape is percussive with the twin sax attack adding bite and piling on the emotion. Riding the scale from euphoric to melancholic, the impact of Girls in Airports’ music is a very personal one for the band and intensely emotional for the listener.

The counterpoint of percussion and the two sax voices creates a tension that gives the music a filmic quality. Melodies from some eastern bazaar, electronic sounds, delicate, painterly themes and muscular soloing move through the frames, coming into focus and fading away. The band have developed their sound, moving from the big tunes of their earlier albums to a more organic and experimental sound-scape, where themes seem to flow from song to song like water. The hooks are there, and the melodies, but now interwoven into the percussive bedrock of the music’s structure. Fables is a complete album that demands repeated listens. Its treasures are not the obvious ones: not scattered on the surface; they require an intensity of listening to match the intensity of music making. As with a good fable, the truth is worth digging for.

With three highly acclaimed self-released records behind them, this much anticipated new album offers Girls in Airports a new beginning with a new label and a chance to widen their appeal. Fables is one of the most interesting musical encounters you will experience this, or any other, year.

Credits

Compositions by Martin Stender and Girls in Airports
Recorded at Studio R in Copenhagen March 2015
Recording engineer John Fomsgaard
Mixed by Andreas Pallisgaard
Mastered by Emil Thomsen
Cover photo by Lærke Posselt
Graphic design Jakob Wedel Darfelt

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