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Pigs Love Pork – SHE (2021)

SHE is an album that can’t be described with adjectives we usually use to describe progressive music: it’s experimental in a way that exceeds musical boundaries. The new music project Pigs Love Pork (formed by Slovenian composer Tomaž Hostnik, jazz pianist Gregor Ftičar and drummer Gregor Hrovat) creates an ambiance that gets the listener uneasy within the first minute of vocals: while listening, you may find yourself clenching your jaw and fidgeting. If success is measured on the metric of establishing a common uncomfortable state in the audience, this album is quite successful.

The first song of the album directly starts with vocals in different pitches: they could best be described as theatrical. These vocals are layered on top of intermittent sounds coming from the keyboard and drums, and the atmosphere created by the combination of these eerie sounds is quite dramatic. Thus it’s probably safe to say that the first song of the album does not intend to be easy on the ears: it achieves its goals in terms of delivering a certain feel while also combining experimental, progressive elements.

The second and third songs of the album continue this uneasy ambiance: “Yet Another Morning” does so by making extensive use of sound effects and sudden transitions, while “Premonition” uses single spaced out notes from the piano that are later connected to a falling sequence, reminding the listener of horror movie soundtracks. Jazz pianist Gregor Ftičar’s touch is the most apparent in this track as remnants of the genre can be found behind the notes.

The following track is kind of similar in structure to the second song with the way the mood switches from dark to light, but this time the dark ambiance is much more layered. It keeps the listener waiting in certain intervals and builds the tension as if waiting for the “Sacrifice” to be made. “The End” promises the listener some peace, but it keeps on building the tension with the screeching sound effects that follow the deep notes from the synthesizer. “Into Paradise” is finally a track that could be considered serene. The whole album, which is similar to the soundtrack of a film full of buildups, releases its tension in this final track. Overall, the album is creative and original, but maybe a bit too experimental to be a hit.

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