Well, it seems like we're off for a few hours of post rock again, this time with Jet Plane, a quintet from Bryansk, Russia. Loud To Sleep is their fourth output after an e.p., a single and an LP. It's available as a download and on CD. Typically for this genre, this album contains seven long instrumental tracks, according to the biography mainly influenced by Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky and Godspeed! You Black Emperor.
From the first track 'Laurel Trees/21 Guns' it is apparent that Jet Plane focusses on the icy cold version of post rock. While most popular post rock bands create warm, fuzzy anthems, these Russians strip them down to a minimal approach and incorporate bagpipe, violin, and glockenspiel. These instruments give the tracks a bleak, folk-like sound, exhaling the frosty smoke of a Russian winter. The ever changing anthems really do draw a mental picture of an almost abandoned Russian town in midwinter, with snowflakes falling from the sky, only to be covered by more of them on the empty streets. Somewhere there should be a fire but Jet Plane is nowhere near this warm cosiness. Instead they are on the townsquare, playing a perfectly bleak soundtrack to this cold and uncomfortable landscape.
Most songs follow the same structure: an introduction, building up towards a heavy, somewhat noisy piece and altering slowly into a stretched out atmosphere. Sundog, an eleven minute symphony, seems to start out as a sixties hippy song but quickly rearranges itself to go with the flow of the rest of the album. It's probably the heaviest track on the album, at moments reaching a very doom-like sound with very noisy distorted guitars. In '(You can here them) Whisper' there's a large sample of children playing (I hope), giving the track an extra eerie feel. The overal sensation of this album is gentle but spooky. It's played and produced very well, with a lot of attention for details and atmosphere.
In all, Jet Plane succesfully succeeds in creating this quite original atmosphere. Personally, I adore the use of bagpipes and other non-typical instrumentation. It alway gives the music an extra touch. Maybe this album is the prove that post rock is the classical music of this century. These are not songs but drawn out symphonies played by an excellent orchestra. It doesn't even matter that this orchestra constists of only five people and an array of instruments and effect-pedals. This is modern day Russian composing at a very high quality.