MUSIQUE MACHINE pays some nice attention to the brilliant album of HYDRA ENSEMBLE. VISTAS was released last month on A New Wave Of Jazz. Here’s the review and you can order the album here.

Vistas is a five-track journey in starkly bounding and angular forking improv for double bass, two cellos and electronics. It’s a grim-yet-torque-tight affair, which hums with both shady inner doubt & foreboding anxiety. The release appears as a CD release on Antwerpen’s New Wave Of Jazz label- with the mini white and grey box gatefold following the labels house style- with the inner gatefold featuring a two-page write-up about the release, and the project by Guy Peters. This release has an edition of 200 copies, and can be purchased directly from the label. Rotterdam-based quartet Hydra Ensemble has been active since 2021, and Vistas is the project’s second release following on from Voltas, which appeared on Inexhaustible Editions. The project brings together Lucija Gregov and Nina Hitz both on  Cello, Gonçalo Almeida on Double Bass, Rutger Zuydervelt  on Electronics. The five tracks featured here run between seven and eleven minutes a piece, and while the whole album has an air of bleak tension, each track manages to have its own identity/ edge. We open with pared-back almost post-punk bass bounding meets compressed tone searing & subtle electro chop of “Vista I”. Moving onto taut textural scape ‘n’ fiddle and jagged bass billow of “Vista II” which later adds in tense string fiddles and oppressive electro buzz.  With the album playing out with the forlornly bowing grey sonic folds meet fiddling ‘n’ fork of “Vista V”- which latter becomes a lot more suffocatingly dense. Vistas finds the improv form fed through with grey doubt and tighten unease- certainly not an easy, or formally pleasing ride. But it fits like a glove if you’re after grim-yet-taut improvising.” Musique Machine – UK