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Bad Nauheim, Hesse, Germany | SELF

Bad Nauheim, Hesse, Germany | SELF
Band Alternative New Age




"fragile – White Shadows"

Score: 7.5/10

Instrumental music gives listeners the space to interpret the message the artist is trying to send, and to extrapolate it to reflect certain scenery or imagined instances. This makes each play of an album a personal affair, something rarely found in vocal driven music. A song that feels nostalgic to one person might feel joyful to another; one person’s love song is the next person’s tearjerker. When music is severed from clear cut lyrics, the interpretive possibilities increase exponentially. Hong Kong based fragile’s debut White Shadows is a testament to the above mentioned aspects, and provides further proof that post-rock is far from gone.

Prior to listening to the album, one might have some fears regarding its originality. The non-descript album cover, the four tracks with a running length of fifty one minutes, and the name of the album itself lead one to presume that this is just another post rock album. Yet as the album begins to unfold, these reservations are put to rest.

The music operates as a narrative to real life, complete with mood swings and unexpected turns, making White Shadows easy to relate to and embrace. While fragile more often than not embraces the high-low dynamic, the band never sounds generic. At certain points the transitions are out and out astounding. The six members all stand out at one moment or the other and contribute to the album's success. And despite the fact that each track feels independent from the rest, the album possesses a remarkable sense of coherence.

“White Shadow” might be the easiest track to fall in love with on first listen. This is post-rock of the highest order, playing out like a ballad or a romantic tune. The starkly familiar guitar melody grows more unique as it progresses. The string section enters after a “pseudo-buildup” before giving way to a higher section. The volume increases the emotion, and listeners are led to the closing track like diners to a dessert.

“#9” is the album's true highlight. The guitar and piano are in the foreground, but the reverse loops in the background make for an unsettling counterpart. It seems like a constant tug of war until the eeriness of the background urges the original melody and forces the piano to go solo. Yet the electronics and sampled string sounds just won’t give up. Beeps start to irk the piano; they want change, and change they’ll get! Less than halfway through, the song takes a different turn; the whole band enters to support the piano in its new trajectory. The loops triumph, and thank heavens they do. The narrative grows more coherent, with the listener more pleased by the second.

It’s only appropriate to applaud this effort. I had never listened to any Hong Kong or China based band before this, but if the rest of the bands over there are half as good as this, then we’re probably looking at a new power emerging in the world of post-rock. These guys have done their country proud.

-Mohammed Ashraf - The Silent Ballet


Studio albums:
2008 -- venus
2010 -- white shadows

reviews of the Silent Ballet:

Songs on Youtube:
"White Shadow"--



One of the Hong Kong’s finest post-rock group fragile choose the world without language, a storyteller without words. Fragile has released one EP"venus" and one album "White shadow" since 2006, and have toured around China. They create atmospheric, cinematic music that surprises you with surreal sounds and epic beauty.

The core members of fragile are staying in Germany, and have made some new beautiful tune. Our live music is matching with visual that can that take the audience on an unforgettable journey.