Hidden Danger Lets Me In is the second release for Lantskap Logic, the trio consisting of Evelyn Davis (pipe organ), Fred Frith (electric guitar) and Phillip Greenlief (clarinet and alto saxophone). Even if it is somewhat less mysterious than their previous release Drone Trio (2018), it is still probing and fresh, a development rather than recreation.
The circumstances surrounding the recording may shine some light on the differences. The Mills College Music Department, where Frith had taught, Davis had attended and all three had recorded, was closing. Therefore, Frith rallied the troops for one last go in the Mills Chapel, notable for its pipe organ as well as reverberant halls. According to Frith, the session was "both a requiem and a call of defiance." Naturally, this tension comes through brilliantly.
Gone are the 25-minute deep dives into a single sonic moment or movement. Instead, Hidden Danger is broken into seven tracks, the longest of which comes up just short of 15-and-a-half minutes. Though more compact than the extended takes on Drone Trio, the pieces on Hidden Danger are no less inspired and still filled with percolations with various points of breakthrough that can still approach the truly dramatic. Often, however, the trio bleeds their instruments together in the subsurface, creating a whirl of tinny and droning textures. Greenlief occasionally breaks through with his breathy reeds and gnarled brittle lines, and Davis lends gravity and bends time with her heavy chords. For his part, Frith does what he does best, which is, at various moments, occupy nearly all the sonic spaces: fore-, back- and middle ground. Rhythm, ambiance, and, to the extent applicable, melody. Frith is clearly a master of the guitar and, notably, pedal. Still, most often he hangs back creating curiously meandering background noise, dabbling in Twin Peaks atmospherics as well as other decentered moods. As a unit, Davis, Frith and Greenlief fall in and out of sonic furrows and, in the process, create natural, supernatural and alien worlds. They hint at songs, but never quite see them through. Instead, they fragment and refract in a way that is beautiful and intriguing. And through it all, some churning but intangible center, that underlying Lantskap logic holds, even after the department that birthed it has passed.
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