UK’s Musique Machine continues to support the label with writing lovely reviews about our releases and for this we’re grateful. Here’re two of them. Enjoy and remember that both albums are available from our store and bandcamp.
ANTON MOBIN & MARTINA VERHOEVEN – CURE AND MOUND (CD)
“4 out of 5 rating! Cure and Mound feature two examples of edgy ‘n’ eventful improv for prepared chamber and piano. The CD/ digital download slides in at nearing the eighty-minute mark, and it’s a shifting & darting ride- with both players sparking off each other nicely. The release appears on Belgium based A New Wave Of Jazz- who put out the best in the more difficult, yet often highly creative side of improv and modern composition. The CD comes presented in the labels house style mini gatefold packaging- which all feature minimalistic white texts in grey boxes design, with a write-up inside by Guy Peters. The release comes in an edition of 300 copies- which can be purchased directly from here. The two players here are French improvise/ sound artist Anton Mobin on prepared chamber. And Belgian photographer, bass player and pianist Martina Verhoeven. With the two tracks featured being recorded live in the studio.
The release opens with the track “Cure”- which takes up the lion share of this release at just shy of the forty-seven-minute mark. It starts off in a wonderfully manically angular manner with sways of slicing and grating stings, doomy to cascading key hits, blunt bass fumbling’s- all topped with scuttling and knocking detail- managing to feel gloomy uneasy, insect-like, and surreally wavering in its intent. As we move on the pair keep both fleeting and daring in their playing- as we move from stop ‘n’ start piano key chops meet long scraping and knocking tonality. Onto whipping ‘n’ warping bass tone fluctuations topped with all manner key fidgety and scape dart ‘n’ rip detail. Through to the sawing at times almost manically barking chamber tones, that are tempered by clanging key runs. Onto the tolling-yet-darting piano notation, that shifted by all manner of knocks, scrapes, hiss, and breathy grates. Really a marvellous track that keeps you held & on your toes throughout its length.
Next, we of course have “Mound”- and this comes in at ten seconds sly of the half an hour mark. We begin with a blend of taut fiddles, scrapes, and rattles- which are surrounded by darting shards of doomy to higher piano key work. As we process, we find a sea of playful key darts and jaunts, scared by whooping bass fumbles and shimmering to dragging tone detail. We have moments of haunting tolling key work which is edged by a selection of unease scrapes, drags and creaks. Though equally, we have moments grating, wavering and fiddling manic-ness. At times it felt like the piano was more formal/ atmospheric on this track, but also, we have lots of great more abstract/ primal playing going on too. The pairing of prepared chamber and piano is certainly an interesting one- and on Cure and Mound both Mobin and Verhoeven make the most of chosen sonic tools, really giving them a workout here. This is certainly a release for those who enjoy the more fidgety and abstract side of the improv form, but I really found the whole thing most captivating and rewarding- with not a dull moment in sight/ ear.” Musique Machine – UK
JOHN EDWARDS & DIRK SERRIES – MELANCHOLIA (CD)
“3 out of 5 rating ! Melancholia is an improv release that shifts( at points) rapidly from starkly felt ‘n’ fraught, to the more manic and detailed. It features two respected euro Avant players- Belgian guitarist Dirk Serries- who also runs the New Wave Of Jazz label and is also behind respected/ inferential ambient project Vidna Obmana. And British double bassist John Edwards- who since the late ’90s has built up a large and respected body of work collaborating with the likes of Evan Parker, Lol Coxhill, Tony Levin, and many others. The release appears as either a CD( which I’m reviewing) or a digital download. The CD comes presented in New Waves of Jazz’s house style grey box and white text mini gatefold- with a write up in the middle by Guy Peters. The CD pressing is ltd to just three hundred copies. The album features two number tracks- with these each hitting between the twenty and twenty-four-minute mark. First up we have “I”- this opens with a nicely taut-yet-stark blend of sudden bass neck fumble, jugged and darting guitar strum & scuttle. As the track progresses the more manic side of proceedings comes to the fore- with rapidly bass shifts and bays, detailed and complex guitar saws and strums. As we move on the track dramatically shifts between the sparser and moodier, to the more busy and detailed- within both settings we find moments of compelling angularity, fraught emotionality, and even fleeting moments of the more playful/ quirky. Next, we have “II” which is the longer of the two tracks- we move from the sudden busy ‘n’ jagged guitar motifs and lightly bounding to more buzzing bass tones of the start. Onto the tensioned & thickly droning low end meets fiddling and forking guitar tones, though to the rapid blends of strum, knock, and bass bow. We once again have more spaced/ paired back moments of sly guitar saw ‘n’ slides, and bass scab- but equally we have the more manic busy side of the coin too. With the track playing out with a wonderful searing and oddly grooving, throb, scab, and purr section.
Melancholia presents us with forty-five minutes of shifting, at points emotional improv- with both players wonderfully complementing each other nicely.” Musique Machine – UK