Creative Sources

From the very first moments of the opening “Xangu” you’ll be tempted to delete the adjective “discreet” from this duo’s intercommunicative dictionary. The vicious manner in which Evans and Blancarte hurl hooks at each other, reciprocally clinching in a timbral slugfest of epic proportions, is enough to leave you with bruised ears, if not knocked out cold. You can really appreciate what years of serious practice on an instrument bring in terms of strong tone, structural capriciousness and sheer paroxysm. No afterthoughts, no preambles, no reassuring familiarity with anything; this is like taking an ice-cold shower after lengthy exposure to hot sun. Excruciatingly revitalizing, one might say. The persistent tortuousness characterizing the flare-ups Evans elicits from his piccolo trumpet makes us forget altogether the silver-spoon inevitability that considers instrumental transgression as a symbol of original sin (burning hell and brain power are linked in some way, but not everybody’s ready to admit it). Blancarte, whose stunning bass I’m discovering here for the first time, is completely involved with and excited by this tête-à-tête, and the blend of his magnificent snarl and his playing partner’s squealing cries is a real treat, not to mention an authoritative assault the upper partials, which in certain sections of “Ukonvasara” and “Ishkur” is utterly amazing. Never was a record title more pertinent.