If you're a fan of the contemporary improvised music scene, just the combination of the four principals involved here should enough to wet your whistle. Beins, Capece, Küchen and Vogel have each produced a large volume of extraordinary music over the past couple of decades. What would they get up to as a quartet?
The first track, the brief 'Transubstantiation', is something of a surprise, an overlaying of conversation that may well have been recorded in the studio prior to the music making. Nothing earthshaking, but it might bring a smile to one's lips. 'Pebble Snatch' reminded me, as it began, of the area investigated by Swiss musicians like Günter Müller and others in the mid-oughts: an underlying pulse over which scattered, more abstract sounds are arrayed. But as it develops, the hints of rhythm grew fainter and ghostly, shakuhachi-like sounds from the reeds emerge, very effective. [I should say that Paul Vogel is listed as performing "air from another planet contained in terrestrial glassware", so I shall be forgiven if not correctly identifying his contributions to the proceedings, though there are a number of moments where air blown across bottles might well produce the sounds heard.] Over the course of the improvisations, the music veers wildly across this terrain, arriving at new quasi-rhythms, sometimes hollowly metallic, sometimes with the richness of deep drums. "Pendative" is more...pensive, a set of ringing bell-tones, low saxophone flutters, deep hums and more, splayed into a broad, slow-moving soundscape, quite colorful and a even a bit languid. The final track, 'Transmogrification', is more abstract and spread out yet and, in my opinion, the most successful piece here. In fact, the album is likely better perceived as a whole, migrating from (after the intro) the density and pulses of 'Transubstantiation' to this one, 30 minutes of swirling metal, reed harmonics, rough scratches and, very probably, alien air; marvelous.
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