Review – Blackfield – Open Mind – The Best of Blackfield – by Progradar

It appears I may have dropped the ball big style when it comes to Blackfield and I’m big enough to admit my mistakes, no matter how bad they are!

I always dismissed this collaboration between the legend that is Steven Wilson and Israeli songwriter and musician Aviv Geffen as not for me (yes, pretentious on my part, I know!), considering it monotonous and well, boring! How wrong can you be eh? After listening to this compilation from their five albums it dawned on me that they are actually really rather good!

‘The collaboration, extending from their self-titled debut in 2004 to their superb return with album V produced with Alan Parsons in 2017, has proven to be a prolific partnership for creating striking and affecting music.’

Erm, yes, the promotional material hits the proverbial nail smack bang on the head, it is extremely striking and  very, very affecting. I could go on about all fifteen tracks on the album but I’ll just tell you the ones that really stand out for me. Opener Blackfield, the uber-smooth and emotive 1000 People, the energetic and dynamic Oxygen, my personal favourite How Was Your Ride with its surfeit of soul and oh so cool strings and vocals, From 44 to 48, the heartfelt Faking, the pared back brilliance of Dissolving With the Night, honestly, as collections go, it really doesn’t get much better than this.

‘Perhaps the debut album’s Lasse Hoile cover art—a bottled elixir lurking in the gloomy shadows of an apothecary—signifies that Blackfield is a dark medicine to be administered through the listener’s ear.’

I don’t know who writes this promo stuff but, damn, they’re good and so is the music, perhaps Steven Wilson himself puts it best:

“Blackfield appealed to me because it was a chance to focus firmly on the art of the classic pop song with concise songs and strong melodies, harmonies, orchestration, and a very lush ‘golden’ production.”

If, like me, you have never thought Blackfield worthy of your attention then please, please heed my advice, get your hands on this new collection and enjoy every single note!

Released 28th September 2018

Order the album, in all formats, from the link here

 

KSCOPE TO RELEASE OPEN MIND: THE BEST OF BLACKFIELD ON 28/09/18

The best of the peerless collaboration between Steven Wilson and Aviv Geffen. Features 15 essential tracks, including “Blackfield”, “Once”, “Family Man” and “Pain”.

Blackfield is the collaboration between Israeli songwriter and musician Aviv Geffen, and British musician and producer Steven Wilson. The collaboration, extending from their self-titled debut in 2004 to their superb return with album produced with Alan Parsons in 2017, has proven to be a prolific partnership for creating striking and affecting music.

The pair makes for a formidable musical force; Geffen has worked with legendary producers Tony Visconti and Trevor Horn, has also recently performed with and hosted Jake Bugg, played as support for Biffy Clyro, and was a judge on the Israeli TV show The Voice. Wilson, after a long tenure as the leader of the hugely influential band Porcupine Tree, has since embarked on a highly successful solo career, most recently earning a #3 album in the UK Charts and #2 in the DE Charts, as well 4 Grammy nominations.

This collection, curated by Wilson and Geffen, selects the best works from an impressively rich Blackfield catalogue with each of the five records combining both sweet and tart elements. It’s an uncommonly potent mixture. Perhaps the debut album’s Lasse Hoile cover art—a bottled elixir lurking in the gloomy shadows of an apothecary—signifies that Blackfield is a dark medicine to be administered through the listener’s ear. There’s no recipe on the aged and frayed label of the bottle. Yet some lyrical ingredients can be discerned within the mix: Take a dash of childhood memory, sprinkle in some heartbreak, pour in a drop of blood from an open vein, add a pinch of angry conscience (carefully weighed), puree the dew of a kiss, and then garnish with the bitter tears of adult disillusionment.  Stir carefully and name it after the very first Blackfield collaboration: “Open Mind”.

Steven Wilson – “Blackfield appealed to me because it was a chance to focus firmly on the art of the classic pop song with concise songs and strong melodies, harmonies, orchestration, and a very lush ‘golden’ production.”

Open Mind, featuring new artwork by Hajo Müller will be released on 28th September 2018 on CD / LP  and is available to pre-order HERE

OPEN MIND: THE BEST OF BLACKFIELD tracklisting

1.              Blackfield [04:27] WATCH
2               Family Man [03:37]
3               Open Mind [03:49] LISTEN
4               1,000 People [03:54]
5               Oxygen [03:00]
6               Hello [03:09]
7               Once [04:03]
8               How Was Your Ride? [03:58]
9               Waving [03:56]
10            From 44 to 48[04:31] WATCH
11            Pain [03:47]
12            October [03:31]
13            Faking [03:33]
14            Dissolving With The Night [04:07]
15            End Of The World [05:14]

AVIV GEFFEN PERFORMING THE SONGS OF BLACKFIELD – NEW DATES ANNOUNCED

Aviv Geffen, the Israeli singer/songwriter as one half of the rock duo Blackfield with prolific British musician Steven Wilson, is taking their critically acclaimed studio album ‘V’ on a new 9-date European tour in January 2018. Following the successful Spring 2017 tour, which saw a surprise appearance from Steven Wilson on the UK dates, European shows with Biffy Clyro and shows with Jake Bugg, Aviv Geffen has answered the many fan requests for more live performances.

Blackfield’s beloved music was recently celebrated with reissues of their classic first two albums on vinyl and CD, with the second also being remastered by Steven Wilson.

19.01.18 – DE – Cologne, Luxor

21.01.18 – UK – London, Oslo

22.01.18 – FR – Paris, Le Pop Up Du Label

23.01.18 – NL – Helmond, Cacaofabriek

24.01.18 – DE – Hamburg, Knust

26.01.18 – IT – Milan, La Salumeria Della Musica

27.01.18 – CH – Luzern – Jazzkantine

29.01.18 – DE – Munich, Strom 

30.01.18 – DE – Berlin, Franz Club

Ticket details www.facebook.com/blackfieldhq

Their latest album ‘Blackfield V’, was written and recorded over 18 months in both Israel and England, and contains 13 linked songs that form a flowing 45 minute ocean themed song cycle.  The duo expertly handle the vocals, guitars, and keyboards, with Tomer Z from the Blackfield band on drums, Eran Mitelman on keys, and string arrangements performed by the London Session Orchestra. ‘Blackfield V’ is a powerful journey through catchy melodies, lush arrangements, and stunning production, with legendary producer / engineer Alan Parsons working on three of the album’s key tracks.

The pair make for a formidable musical force; Geffen has worked with legendary producers Tony Visconti and Trevor Horn, has played live with U2 and Placebo, and is currently a judge on the Israeli TV show The Voice. Wilson, after a long tenure as the leader of the hugely influential band Porcupine Tree, has since embarked on a highly successful solo career, achieving 3 UK top 40 albums (the most recent also making the top 3 in Germany, and The Netherlands), and 4 Grammy nominations.

For the release of their latest album ‘V’, Blackfield revealed two music videos, created by long time collaborator Lasse Hoile (www.lassehoile.com), for the Wilson-penned “From 44 to 48” and for “Lonely Soul”.

All artist photography by Hajo Müller.