What's the writer to do when confronted with an album like this, one where genre becomes the plaything of liberty-taking improvisers on the loose? A difficult proposition to be sure, as there aren't many trios like this! Listening to the quirky "Low Gulp," the album's opening piece, you might be tempted to put them in an open living space with the far-fabled Alterations. As Steve Beresford adds his wonderfully whimsical voice to this trio which also contains drummer Valentina Magaletti and bassist Pierpaolo Martino, the comparison works very nicely. Whatever mad drones and erector-set intrigues occur, there are those peaceful triadic harmonies at 5:49 to consider. As it turns out, they're a seed planted. "Studded Shirt" bears no resemblance to its predecessor as it bops Monkishly along, save for those bits of triad that swing in and out of focus. Also interesting is that the track's recorded in mono, almost like black and white amidst swirling colors.
The rest of the album fares similarly, or is similarly unfair to the sad scribe in search of a descriptive word or two. The musicianship is top shelf, that's certain, but everything else is in flux. Whatever genre abounds, however fleetingly, it's a joy to hear Magaletti and Martino interact on "Tuttodipunta"'s bouncily multidirectional rhythms, while Beresford's doing whatever sliding gliding thing he's doing after he gives up on the multiregistral pointillisms he initially lays down. All of a sudden, it's basically punk. Motoric and slyly repetitive, thrashing delightfully in the face, it's punk just as "A Clumsy Title" is polka, or at least in its initial stages, before a funky Martino bassline is abruptly faded. Redemption comes, after a fashion, in the slinky bassline of "The Delusion Metabolist," which also sports some of Magaletti's delicate but delightfully punchy call-and-response percussion and Beresford's electronic anti-wizardry. As for questions of genre, if it walks like a spider and barks like a spider, it must be! This delightfully outsider album got the smile going from ear to ear.
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