Book Of Romance And Dust 2LP
Exit North’s Book of Romance and Dust is an uncompromising and unconventional debut album that explores the collective psyches and diverse influences of its renowned members.
Over a 4-year collaborative timeline, Japan co-founder Steve Jansen, Charles Storm and Thomas Feiner have contributed in multiinstrumentalist capacities and Ulf Jansson has focused on piano and keyboards. All the instruments one associates with the world of rock are involved, but employed within an eclectic mindset. The recording also features trumpet, harmonium and a string quintet. Legendary jazz bassist Lars Danielsson contributes upright bass.
Feiner’s deep, rich voice is vivid and emotional. It pairs perfectly with the recording’s spectral qualities, incorporating the ambient and orchestral, the meditative and kinetic. The album is one that rewards repeated engagement. Full of layers and complex lyrical turns of phrase, the record requires an investment to absorb. It also includes an instrumental in “North” that finds Jansson conveying melodic intrigue in the absence of a voice.
“The group has a patience and attention to detail that I find rare to come across these days,” said Jansen. “This type of music is timeless, so there is no bandwagon to rush towards. We wanted to dig deep and express our connections with music and make the type of album we felt represented a culmination of our years of experience.”
A co-writing partnership first formed when Feiner worked with Jansen on his 2007 solo album Slope. Jansen sensed a kindred spirit and pursued a long-term working relationship. Feiner was already partnering with Jansson on other projects and brought him into the fold. The trio officially planted the seeds for a new group. Feiner then realised the potential of inviting renowned Swedish producer and engineer Charles Storm to join the group. The two met years earlier at a Jansen performance in Stockholm, so Feiner was aware of Storm’s appreciation for Jansen’s previous output. They also had a mutual friend in Jansson. Everyone felt a sense of trust, shared experiences and camaraderie that informed their sessions.
“The creative process for us is successful because we can communicate progress in composition and structure without being too precious about personal choices,” said Jansen. “It’s truly a collaborative band in that sense. It’s why we credit all the music to the entire group.”
Exit North is truly about generating an aural gravity that pulls the best out of its participants. Those who admire Jansen’s instrumental, experimental solo output, as well as his song-based work with Japan, Rain Tree Crow and Nine Horses will find much to enjoy on Book of Romance and Dust. Similarly, the audience Feiner has cultivated with his group Anywhen and its acclaimed recording The Opiates, will encounter a related, spacious aesthetic. Jansson and Storm have also worked on countless sessions across myriad genres that have enriched the global mindset they brought to this expansive ensemble.
Album is pressed on 45RPM vinyl, packaged in a gatefold sleeve, and includes a digital download.
- Number of discs: 2
- Label: Exit North Music
- Mono/Stereo: Stereo
- Catalog Number: ENV01