Martin Archer & Engine Room Favourites – Safety Signal From A Target Town

(Discus) I dream of a life without the obligation of labeling a record. A place where the parallelism of compositional attributes simply warrants pure delectation and implicit comprehension. If this world truly existed, Martin Archer’s tireless work would symbolize the necessity of forgetting about roots and derivations to better relish the fruits of sensible orchestral choices, in turn initiating terrific contrapuntal instances. Saying this might sound peculiar as the leader himself cites essential influences on his creations, especially AACM and British jazz with progressive tendencies; music that — in Archer’s very words — combines “considered spaciousness and white heat improvisation”. … Continue reading Martin Archer & Engine Room Favourites – Safety Signal From A Target Town

Jin Sangtae & Tim Olive – Naar/Voor

(845 Audio) In a conceptual setting recalling the legendary “cracked everyday objects” microcosm of Andy Guhl and Norbert Möslang’s Voice Crack (what a fantastic duo, by the way), Jin Sangtae and Tim Olive make the most of recycled pieces of quotidian technology. They highlight the substance of what usually remains unheard, and which may contain the germs of intuition of an invisible totality that is more relevant than expected. Sangtae connects cables to salvaged hard drives, bringing to (disorderly) life the barely perceptible interferences typical of computer-induced brainlessness. Olive — an erstwhile virtuoso of electrically enhanced one or two-stringed self-mades … Continue reading Jin Sangtae & Tim Olive – Naar/Voor

Veryan Weston – The Make Project

(Barnyard Records) Among several notable intuitions, pianist and composer Veryan Weston has been working for decades on the concept of tessellation. To quote from his website, “visual interlocking symmetries and geometric shapes are transferred to the audible world of pitches, rhythm and counterpoint, with the spirit and energy of jazz, improvisation and folk music always at the heart of the performance“. Nothing rings truer after having lent our ears to this brilliant album, in which Weston presents the newest version of an existing work with the help of vocal conductor Christine Duncan and drummer Jean Martin. Other musicians involved are … Continue reading Veryan Weston – The Make Project

Steve Swell – Music for Six Musicians: Hommage a Olivier Messiaen

(Silkheart) On a first glance at the title we’re automatically reminded of a milestone of minimalism by another famous Steve; but there is nothing in this work by Steve Swell that can be reported on as “minimalist”. Rightly applauded as a virtuoso trombonist, the man is also a discerning composer, this CD fully supporting our assumption. Picking Olivier Messiaen as the subject of a tribute is in itself a brave move; assembling a quintet of top-notch instrumentalists to concretize the sterling configurations and the spontaneous germinations implied by a partially notated score might even represent a danger, all the more … Continue reading Steve Swell – Music for Six Musicians: Hommage a Olivier Messiaen

Markus Eichenberger & Daniel Studer – Suspended

(hatOLOGY) Clarinettist Eichenberger and double bassist Studer have been operating in tandem for over eight years after having attended more populated assemblies since the late 90s. Suspended is an affidavit of the solidity of their joint sharpness, an album consisting of seven improvisations defined by sometimes strange titles (“Walking Harshly”, “Glancing Loudly”) yet distinguished by the qualities that separate the practitioners of serious acoustic craft from the self-publicists who categorize the act of drooling into a tube or swatting flies off a string instrument as “art”. The aforementioned qualities can be encapsulated in two words: concreteness and reactivity. In the … Continue reading Markus Eichenberger & Daniel Studer – Suspended

Thanos Chrysakis / Ernesto Rodrigues / Guilherme Rodrigues / Abdul Moimême / Miguel Mira – Mikrographía

(Creative Sources) The extremely short duration — less than 19 minutes — classifies Mikrographía as an EP. However, such a restricted temporal frame is inversely proportional to the interplay’s quality, made explicit across three tracks of mysterious counterpoints bathing in relatively ambiguous resonance. Aside from Chrysakis’ piano — obviously more identifiable than the rest of the palette and, in a way, dictating the extemporaneous harmonic paths of the spontaneous fluxes — the overall dynamics follow the rules of a hide-and-seek game of sorts. Think an evacuated neighborhood enshrouded by grayness, but occasionally illuminated by entrancing oblique lights. When the Rodrigueses … Continue reading Thanos Chrysakis / Ernesto Rodrigues / Guilherme Rodrigues / Abdul Moimême / Miguel Mira – Mikrographía

David Area / Tomás Gris / Ernesto Rodrigues – Chorismos

(Creative Sources) I’ll spare the title’s philosophical implications for another occasion, and get straight to the point. Creative Sources was among the first imprints to present works by artists honestly willing to travel the no man’s land separating sound from silence. For this, Ernesto Rodrigues’ label is respected by this reviewer in spite of the latter’s repudiation of similarly oriented music in recent years. I have spoken at length on the insincerity of certain assumed milestones — in reality, forgettable albums — by composers and/or improvisers who fabricated a trend for exploitable audiences (and, not infrequently, built rewarding careers on … Continue reading David Area / Tomás Gris / Ernesto Rodrigues – Chorismos