Title: Broken Surface
- The Parade
- The Broken Surface
- A Zone Of Silence
- Macrocosmic Termite-Town
- The Japanese
- A More Sober View
a) Air-Conditioning System
b) Lantern Shadow Split White Urban Naitive Apart
- Animals & Districs
a) Emptiness, Cooling Down
b) Last Instructions
- Nearness Of Harbour
- Pulsing Adrenaline
- The Sound Of Leaving Foot-Steps
- Falling Back 'N' Forth (Löwys LP Version)
- Generator X.0.7/8 (Javelins LP Version)
A review from ChainDlk.com
Yet another brilliant project from Harald Löwy, mastermind behind Chandeen, quite possibly the only contender’s to La Floa Maldita’s dream-pop throne. This CD also features the ex-singer of Moskwa TV (I dunno who that it though so your guess is as good as mine), painting out an image of a man from Europe and his maiden trip through the super city we call New York City. The CD mixes very gentle piano, trip hop, and a quiet, rainy day sense of pop, with a very Kerouac style of lyric writing and observation. This is the best CD for walking through the city streets on a rainy day, the kind of music I picture in a city film at parts where the characters realize the pivotal point of the film………or “Great Expectations” (more the modern film than the Dicken’s novel itself). Gentle, never the least bit overpowering, and with that controlled, melancholy atmosphere that seemingly only Harald can bring to the table. And with Javelin’s tongue in cheek lyrics and charismatic singing, it all brings a very unique atmosphere, painting at last a portrait of the city that never sleeps if one takes 9-11 out of the picture and looks at it from it’s whole view. And even a couple of gorgeous dance tracks in the end for the clubbers out there, but done with the same exact emotion that is Harald’s stamp of approval, bringing to mind Cleen’s “Second Path” (we can only hope that he’ll join forces with Daniel Myer one day!). Rating:10. Also recommended are Chandeen, of course, and Massive Attack, whose work is a bit similar to this. Not to mention brilliant. - KlingKlangBedlam
A review from Orkus Magazine, Germany
With Broken Surface
Ion Javelin and the songwriter and producer of Chandeen, Harald Löwy, have created a concept album which in its musical uniqueness at first defies any description. The combination of experimental Trip Hop and spheric ambient seems perfect to recollect the story of the album (...) The transportation of the infinite vastness, the overflowing new impressions, sky high skyscrapers, glittering neon advertisements and varying smells into sound language is impressive and moving. Sound worlds arise which surround the occurances in a cool as well as endlessly encompassing emotional way. The individual pieces arouse numerous associations, let memories stir or simply invite day dreaming. An extraordinary, tender, and affectionate album, which is best enjoyed alone or together in bed in order to surrender to its powerfull pictures with closed eyes.
A review from Wrath.de
(...) That way the production is also very heavy on the words, whereby the lyrics are transposed very tenderly and sometimes somehow remind me of David Bowie's 1. outside
album. The music congenially compliments the pensive lyrics: Broken Surface
isn't an album made for clubs or fast consumption, but is quite an intensive, sometimes contemplative production, that is also not easily filed into a certain genre. Memories of the musical kind arise: Tangerine Dream, Pink Floyd, Massive Attack, Neubauten, Portishead... Consequently Broken Surface
is ambitious and exceptional, Pop AND Art simultaneous, which is rare enough (...) for the gourmet amongst the fans of modern and intelligent Pop music the album will certainly be a delicacy (...) Appropriate for this album is incidentally also the booklet, luxurious and furnished with several photos. TIP!
German Import at a Domestic Price
The Collaboration of the Year! Bridgehead into unknown territory: The concept album by ION JAVELIN (ex Moskwa TV) and HARALD LÖWY (Chandeen), that will set standards! With this full-length cd, musically as well as lyrically, Ion Javelin and Harald Löwy present one of the most ambitious and spectacular, certainly though the most innovative album of the past years in the area of the so-called popular music.
The Concept | Broken Surface is a concept album, something rather rare since the sublime days of bands like Pink Floyd or Genesis: The lyrics constitute a complete text cycle; the music is composed for the lyrics not vice versa as customary. Origin of the project was an expressive, stylistically and perspectively unusual essay of high literary quality, which Javelin had already written on the occasion of a photo series which originated in New York years prior to the beginning of the work on the music. Incidentally the discourse reminds of the melancholic-mystic texts of the 'Element of Crime'-Singer Sven Regener, and in its presentation of metropolitan life, the forlornness of the 'modern' person in the urban jungle even creates connections as far as Allen Ginsberg's legendary poem 'Howl'.
The Subject describes the arrival of an European in a - for him utterly foreign - mega-city ('interspaces of buildings: plains were covered by fine film made of american bubble gum'), his purely subjective perception of the surrounding, often bizarre levels of occurrence ('he gave the impression of objective aimlessness, like many before him, outside, on the blinking avenues ...'), the resulting confusion of his emotions ('lots of heads keep on talkin' about the overload but do we really travel on a quiet road'), his failing rationalization attempts ('the immediatness of a moment comparable to a photograph imparts alarming directness to sundry scenery') as well as the final reciprocal permeation of all these levels of identification and being until the threatening loss of his inner balance looms ('pulsing adrenaline, perceptible at the temples/in the neck, the sweat close under the skin ...').
The Music | Unusually rich in facettes and seismographically coordinated to the partially quick changes in the narrating perspective and atmosphere - is a bold but always organic mixture of Trip Hop, Wave, Experimental & Art Pop, Ambient and radio play elements as well as sporadic reminiscences of Jazz and Classical - in short: real musical innovation. It can be placed somewhere in the voltage area between Avantgarde-Pop like Massive Attack ('Evening') or Tuxedomoon ('The Parade') and the contemplative melancholic works of David Sylvians ('The Japanese').
The Album will not only set standards in Germany because it doesn't, as ususal, merely assemble music and literature, but attains a true synthesis of both media. In addition it unfolds a very lively world of sound that cannot be mistaken from the first through the last song. Finally it contains outstanding compositions, which to a large extent arose from the direct collaboration of two in itself already extremely creative minds. The album includes a 16-page, 4 colour booklet with first-class art work which intertwines lyrics with parts of the photo series that initially inspired them, in a subtle and profound manner.
The Artists Ion Javelin was singer and writer of the cult formation Moskwa TV, who shaped the early Techno sound and - next to Camouflage - is considered as the outrider of todays german Electro-Pop. In this unusual comeback long player, whose profound character is underlined by a brilliant, versatile vocal performance, he brought in refined musical ideas ('A more sober View', 'Animals & Districts') in addition to the lyrics and the concept. With this work Javelin has to subsequently be counted as one of the best, stylistically accomplished, English speaking singers of the German Pop Music scene.
Harald Löwy is co-founder, song writer and producer of the Wave-Pop band Chandeen, who came out with its fifth album Bikes and Pyramids world wide last fall. Finally his sensitive piano play ('Pulsing Adrenaline'), wonderful romantic compositions ('A Zone of Silence'), a virtuoso sound treatment ('Macrocosmic Termite-Town') as well as his distinct feeling for sound spaces and colours ('Nearness of Harbour') contribute to making Broken Surface an unmistakable listening experience.