Raymond MacDonald / Tatsuya Nakatani / Peter Nicholson / Neil Davidson / Nick Fells – APORIAS

Creative Sources

Aporias, recorded in Glasgow’s University Concert Hall in 2004, consists of five tracks whose long titles all contain the adjective “incipient”, plus a sixth uncredited one that ends the performance in style with the most mantric piece, sounding like a homage of sorts to LaMonte Young. The quintet’s armaments include drums and percussion, laptop, sampling, cello, soprano and alto saxes, electric guitar. A striking feature of the disc is the chiaroscuro-like alternance of restraint and semi-blowouts, the latter never trespassing the limits of comprehensibility, making me think about a miniature reproduction of Emanem’s Strings With Evan Parker in a few interesting moments with MacDonald giving his all in obvious, if coherent struggles with predictability. In the more spartan segments, tapestries of manipulated guitar and laptop contraptions welcome Nicholson’s intuitive cello figures, while Nakatani only rarely allows himself to lower his tight percussive defence in favour of a disjointed beat. I much prefer those moments of concentrated standstill, as it’s there that the music mostly succeeds in leaving stereotypes behind. At almost 70 minutes, avoiding the traps of boredom is a serious task that these musicians try hard to perform, with only partially satisfactory results.

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