Although the music on 'APR 70' is slow and gloomy jazz, Dictaphone differs from their colleagues. The music is not as dark and doomed-out as Bohren, not as experimental and drone inspired as Dale Cooper, not as easy digestible as Radare and not as long winded as The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble. Instead, this seems to nudge more towards the darker works of Miles Davis, combined with a decent sense of electronic experimentation.
The three Dictaphone core members (Oliver Doerell (electronics, bass, guitar), Roger Döring (saxophone, clarinet) and Alex Stolze (violins)) have been working on this album for three years, which compared with their two decades of existence is not that long. It consists of nine tracks, nine slowly meandering rivers of jazz, electronica and ambient. In fact, the song 'Stanko' can somehow be compared to 'Die Moldau' by Smetana, being an equally narrative and flowing piece of music.
Of course, there is only a tiny gap between jazz and classical music, so it's rather easy to make this comparison. Yet, it also says a lot about the overall quality of this album. From the moment 'Opening Night' started, the mood was set for a hazy yet adventurous listening experience. Somehow, this music demands your attention and when it has it, it never lets you down. 'Lofi Opium' is a second highlight, and 'Sceance' is simply breathtaking.
In all, this is a beautiful jazz album, one that definitely earns a spot in your collection. There is more good news too, as Denovali are about to re release Dictaphone's previous albums. Some of them have been limited until now, so soon the world be able to enjoy the murky jazz splendour of Dictaphone, and that is a good thing.