Artist: Louisa John Krol
Title: Djinn [Le Mystère des Chats]
Genre: Faery Music / Ethereal / Neoclassical
01 Cauldron of Morning
02 Blue Beyond the Sky
03 I am the Djinn
04 Temples of the Jaguar
05 Beautiful Lie
08 Two Cats Return Pomegranate To The Underworld Part I/II: Jinn Jinnee/Sardathrion
10 Yellow Leaves
11 Chant of the Chimney Djinn
12 Lu-lu in the Hall of Dreaming Cats
13 A Retinue of Mandrakes (Juniper Berries)
15 Colours of Angels
Louisa John-krol is an artist that any fan who has followed Prikosnovenie's catalog over the past decade should be well acquainted with by now. In addition to the re-release of “Alexandria” last year on Dark Symphonies sub-division Forest of the Fae (originally on Hyperium Records), over the past 8 years she has released 6 albums with Prikosnovenie, including this latest one, Djinn [Le Mysterie des Chats]. For the curious, Djinn is an Arabic word for an entity we're all pretty familiar with, the Genie! As with most of Louisa John-krol's releases, this is a fairly cultural sounding album in addition to retaining its Faery-like qualities. As with the subject matter of the Djinn, you can expect a good deal of Middle Eastern lyrical references and melodic lines. With the subtitle of “Le Mystere des Chats”, or The Mystery of the Cats, you can also expect a very playful nature!
Much of the music on Djinn is so broadly composed with different instruments and percussive elements that at times it can seem like the soundtrack to what could have been a broadway musical. The nature of the music here is obvious, the relative playful and secretive nature of cats in relevance and comparison to the Djinn. For those who connect to one know instantly the alluring love of the creature as well as their elusive nature. They, however, are our confidants. Just like the Djinn of lore whom could both be good or evil, our beloved kitties frequently showcase both qualities without care for the human world. Two Cats Return Pomegranate to the Underworld Part I showcases this nature perfectly. Musically, the lyrics and melodic lines of the vocals are immensely complicated. Louisa John-krol has become a master of the delicate rhyme, a non-linear way of creating lyrically interesting lines. She flows the words and pops them close together or far apart, weaving the flow of story in and about at her discretion. It has a very mystical quality about it, even removed from the Arabic influences. It goes beyond the meant themes and goes back into the artist herself, the talent she possesses. Few vocalists are able to accomplish this very pronounced and strange aura. Beautiful and wyrd all the same. Be prepared for tracks that change on the whim of the wind though. You could be flowing through ambient textured layers on cloudy days in the orchard, and the next be on your way through a chasm of playful darkness.
Most of the delicated tracks featured contain a kind of lush ambient layer underneath everything, from piano melodies that sooth and remind of Tori Amos (with a similar voice at times, at that!) to haunting guitar textures and simply string accompaniments. At times this album is that release that would be absolutely perfect on a rainy day with a nice cup of tea and a blanket, but then it quickly transforms back to the playful and magickal sound that disrupts the previous atmosphere. The perfect example is the disruption between the tracks "Yellow Leaves" and "Chant of the Chimney Djinn". The former creates that dark, nearly harrowing and melancholic atmosphere that one can just sit and reflect to, only to be corrupted by the latter which pops in unexpectedly in a witch-like ritual chant. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, with an album title like Le Mystere des Chats, you shouldn't really be looking for a peaceful measure of music here, but the tracks perhaps could have been placed a little more consistently on a musical-basis to allow time for the mind to become desolved into the music.
Prepare yourself lyrically as well as few artists take the time to write such complicated measures. If you yourself aren't educated in fae-talk, then good luck understanding some of her lines or the names used here. Maybe that's half the mystery though! The artwork for Djinn is pretty simply, including the image of a thoughtful and determined kitty faded in with drawing of faery characters as is a Prikosnovenie standard that anyone can see and recognize a release from their catalog. The rest of the book includes simple lyrics in black lettering down two columns per page on white background. Its strange how they would wish to go with such a simplistic design for a record as fruitful and colorful in nature as this, however, I suppose it is the story of each track the is more important.