Axel Dörner / Werner Dafeldecker / Sven-Åke Johansson – DER KREIS DES GEGENSTANDES

Monotype The unsettlingly severe cover photograph, with its combination of pollution and forlornness, is perfect to illustrate the stern type of interaction generated by this trio. Axel Dörner has remained one of the few trumpeters around warranting a degree of audibility – and recognisability – during theoretically “reductionist” actions, his proper (if uneven) pitches relieving […]

Lasse-Marc Riek – SAISON CONCRÈTE

Semperflorens That Lasse-Marc Riek is one of the founders of Gruenrekorder is evident from the similarities between some of the atmospheres informing Saison Concrète and the vague, half-tangible depictions of diverse environments in Merzouga’s Mekong Morning Glory (see above). This 44-minute work emerges from a protracted silence, after which all the possible variations on what […]

Merzouga – MEKONG MORNING GLORY

Gruenrekorder Those who think “Morning Glory” is the third course of “Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast” on Atom Heart Mother might like to know that’s it’s also a tropical vegetable (aka water spinach) native to South East Asia, which influenced Eva Pöpplein and Janko Hanushevsky (aka Merzouga) as they sailed down the Mekong river across Laos, Cambodia […]

Lucia Mense – ELECTRONIC COUNTERPOINT

Satelita Lucia Mense specialises in an instrument – the recorder – which immediately brings back memories of unruly classrooms. Here in the land of bel canto, educational programmes by successive governments (“left” or “right”, it doesn’t matter – is there a difference?) have always considered music as good as junk, and most “students” behave accordingly, […]

Dick Wood – NOT FAR FROM HERE

pfMENTUM Reedist Dick Wood is something of a legend in the Californian new jazz scene, described as an “inimitable musician / raconteur / provocateur and general disseminator of freewheeling artistry, love and cuisine” by Nels Cline. In this long-awaited release he fronts a quintet whose members can extract improvising material from a pinhead and make […]

Irène Schweizer – TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

Intakt When Irène Schweizer sits alone at the keyboard in Zurich’s Tonhalle in April 2011, two months before her 70th birthday, the magic in the air materializes fast. Broad-shouldered fairy tales are narrated with the impassioned grace of someone intimately acquainted with the instrument, acting as the causal factor of sound’s chemical reaction with the […]

Nils Petter Molvær – BABOON MOON

Thirsty Ear The title of Baboon Moon‘s opening track, “Mercury Heart”, is an immediate (involuntary?) nod to David Torn’s Cloud About Mercury, a genuine milestone that came out back in 1987. It seems trumpeter Molvær and comrades Stian Westerhus (guitar) and Erland Dahlen (drums) have got themselves stuck in the same year – there’s a […]