Review: Attacca Quartet- Real Life

New York based Attacca Quartet have created one of this year’s finest albums, no question. A panoply of moods, textures and genres can be found here, and it’s simply a joy from start to finish.

The quartet- comprised of Amy Schroeder and Domenic Salerni on violins, Nathan Schram on viola and Andrew Yee on cello- have crafted an album that fills the room with imagery. If you were to fall asleep listening to this (highly unlikely, as it’s so exciting) I can only wonder at the kind of bizarre dreams it would induce.

Even the cover of Real Life effectively sets out its stall- a glamorous riff on Francis Bacon’s menacing triptychs with animalistic, not quite human figures and gaping feral mouths.

This sums up the opener Electric Pow Wow Drum, a militaristic neon future march which invokes a war between alien life forces and humans in a last ditch battle to save a burning planet. It’s as if Daleks became sentient and took up strings.

Clock Catcher is like frenzied chase music from a lost Fritz Lang feature, whereas the title track is more groove based, with finger clicks and a kind of clockwork funk.

Even at its most mellow (Why? is trippy, a sinewy Gypsy string seduction,and More Love Less Hate stretches out like a sleepy feline) it sounds like a future world- one actually worth living in.

Forget everything you thought about the rules and limitations of classical music, Attacca Quartet are way ahead of the curve. This is genius.

Available now through Sony Classical

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