Somewhere in 2004, a man named Rastko Perišić started a black metal project and named it Shadowdream. Yet, from the very beginning, it was clear that this project was more than another one-man black metal act. Elements of ambient, jazz and classical music quickly infiltrated the music, starting a vast musical experiment. Then (or better, "now") this act returned with a completely new sound. Out went the black metal and in came "midnight jazz".
Obviously, influences from Bohren Und Der Club Of Gore, The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Orchestra and Dale Cooper & the Dictaphones often shine through on this album. But Shadowdream does what none of those bands have succeeded in: making me a jazz fan. I love dark jazz, but I always needed one more push to make me appreciate smooth, free or experimental jazz. This album finally built that bridge between the two and finally made me "crossover".
And that's not even the greatest thing about this album. There are plenty of other influences, from dark ambient of acts like Raison D'Etre, over the vintage electronics of Delia Derbyshire to the joyful flute sounds of what I call "Island music", all submerged in a gloomy atmosphere, which unsurprisingly brings the suspenseful soundtrack of Twin Peaks to mind. That's not a bad set of influences for a black metal musician, right? Oh, there's also a bit of post-rock.
Why the album surprised me? Well, to be honest, I have been listening to it six, seven times now and I always imagined a full band, firmly rooted in jazz. I admit, I didn't read the biography before I started listening. Judging from what came out of my speakers.I was expecting a bunch of trained musicians. This is one guy, one dude from Serbia, one damn talented man too. I don't know his musical background, apart from what I wrote in this review, but he's got skills.
That brings me to the final paragraph where I will recommend the hell out of this masterpiece. Just like last year, suddenly a dark jazz album pierces itself right into my best-of list. I don't mind. I'm absolutely positive that 'The Sunsettler's Motel' will become one of the most played albums in this household in 2016. Simply brilliant...