Heard In

Massimo Ricci, The Squid’s Ear, 26 septembre 2014

The digital testimony of a trio composed of proven collaborators in several related projects, 6 Improvisations shelters the uncontaminated traits of a collective vibrancy which seems to entirely discard overt references. Interactional assurance and an impulsive will of attempting solutions beyond the safety net of inherited jargons and foreseeable choices transpire across 55 minutes. Two of the six tracks are Derome/Goldstein duos.

In Saturnien, Wiens’ prepared guitar acts as an arrhythmic basis for Derome’s compressed shrieks and Goldstein’s tattered symbolization; in calmer waters, a tonic composure imbues the air, all musicians returning to a levelheaded demonstration of control on the conflictual aspects of the interplay. The first duo, aptly titled Silences habités, consists of concise ruptures of quietness with sounds whose dynamic and timbral range acknowledge scratched strings, awkward harmonics and elongated, if occasionally faltering pitches as equally valuable components. It must be told that Derome’s “objects” play an important subversive role through this and other moments in the album; bird calls and squeaking/quacking “things” are part of the equation. L’idée de nature is typified by Wiens’ kalimba turning the whole into a multicolor minimalist aggregation of wooden flutes (or ocarinas?) and singing/chattering violin in a bewitching pseudo-static semblance. The innumerable ideas churned out by the soloists in this setting work wonders in expelling cheaply exotic pictures from the listener’s psyche.

Bamboche is another episode where humor and high quality become engaged: ludicrous blasts, coarse utterances and melodic twists by Derome, ungroomed arco action by Goldstein, Wiens using all he needs to make his axe sound as if someone stumbled and fell upon it while carrying a dozen tomato cans. Still, there’s room for fleeting glimpses of pensiveness amidst the frantic disruption of the instrumental framework. Impromptu is the second head-to-head between Derome and Goldstein: the brusqueness of fragmented bursts and the scissions among bilinear cells increase the gap separating our brain’s mnemonic possibilities from the saddening reality of its role as a deterrent in the urge-to-gesture connection. Glissements-souffles ends the program with the same lack of artificiality experienced throughout: aleatory structures, whimsical counterpoints and captious lucidity abound, the ears thankful for having been subjected to a trip to previously unseen lands. This time, the sweat on the shirt and the soil on the fingers were a delightful plus.

This time, the sweat on the shirt and the soil on the fingers were a delightful plus.