Musique Machine

UK’s Musique Machine reviewed two of our new releases with some great ratings ! COLIN WEBSTER & ANDREW LISLE – ‘New Invention’ 3 out of 5 stars and RUBICON QUARTET – ‘Crosscurrents’ 4 out of 5 stars ! You can still order them from our store.

“4 out of 5 rating ! Crosscurrents is an extremely apt title for this recent CD release from the Rubicon Quartet. As the album, often rapidly, shifts and swings between playful ‘n’ harmonic edged free jazz, and noised- up to angular improv. All making for a decidedly invigorating, yet often memorable record. The Rubicon Quartet brings together several respected figures from the Belgian improv/ experimental jazz scene taking in Patrick De Groote- trumpet & flugelhorn, Cel Overberghe- alto sax, Dirk Serries- acoustic guitar, and  Martina Verhoeven- piano. Seemingly Crosscurrents is the group’s debut release, which appears on Belgium label New Wave Of Jazz. In all the release takes in seven tracks, and slides in with a full runtime of fifty-six minutes. The album moves between the jarringly throaty horn calls, and bounding-to- funked guitar/ piano runs of “Verbatim”. Through to the lose-at-points suddenly darting structure of “Airs Out”- which mangers to nicely shift between smoothly melodic & jarringly taut. Onto the strutting ‘n’ picking guitar strum meets compressed & seared wails ‘n’ honks of “Rubicon”. The album wraps-up with the longest track here the near eleven and a half minutes of “Caught By A Flying Ghost”- which finds locked & bounding piano key patterns, alongside playful-to-rapidly waving horn play, and darting guitar strums. I very much enjoy the blend of shifting angularity, playful-at-times harmonic interplays, and the general unpredictability of Crosscurrents. And I must say I’ve often found my self playing the album, and can most certainly say that it’s a record I’ll be returning to in the future again.” Musique Machine – UK


“3 out of 5 stars rating ! New Invention is a visceral and often highly intense jazz record- that barely ever lets-up, in either its pace nor attack. The seven-track album brings together alto sax player Colin Webster, and percussionist Andrew Lisle. The CD release appears on the Belgium label New Wave Of Jazz and comes in their house style white & grey boxed mini gatefold.  In the release two page write-up, which sits in the middle of the gatefold, Guy Peters talks about raging punk spirit, and that’s very much the key to this record- as both Webster & Lisle truly batter & bay their instruments, with only a few moments of respite in the release entire forty five minute runtime.
We kick off as we mean to go on with near eight-minute barrage that is “Knucklas”- here we find violently honking & sputtering honks meeting rapidly shuffling and bonding drums. For the first half, it’s a raging all attack, but in the second half the pair are playing brutally volley ‘n’ snake. As we move on we come from one of the shorter & manically cheeky tracks in the form of “Knill”- which severs up just over three and half minutes of locked & rapid seesaw sax harmonics, with speedily circling chime & kit runs.  Towards the latter half of the album we come the most lengthy attack here- the nearing twelve-minute darting & twisting of “Yardro”- which pairs cluttering & smashing percussion runs with searing and speed twists of horn bay, wail & scream- with along the way some nicely manic just horn break downs.  If your after a  jazz record that sonically batters & bruises, yet at the same pumps you up & exhilarates you too- then I’d say New Invention will be for you. And I’ll be most certainly looking out for future releases from both Webster & Lisle, as both players are as energetic as they are creative.” Musique Machine – UK

TONUS in Poznan

As previously mentioned, Dirk Serries’ TONUS ensemble performed one of his graphic scores at the 2019′ Spontaneous Music Festival in Poznan (Poland). This live concert was professionally recorded and released on cd by the festival. Available here.

This is what VITAL WEEKLY (The Netherlands) wrote about it :
On October 5th, 2019 Dirk Serries performed with his Tonus-project in
Poland at the Spontaneous Music Festival. This time Tonus had the following line up: Pawel Doskocz (acoustic guitar), Andrew Lisle (percussion), Ostap Mańko (violin), Witold Oleszak (piano), Dirk Serries (acoustic guitar), Anna Szmatola (cello), Benedict Taylor (viola) and Colin Webster (alto sax). So on the one hand English musicians Serries already used to play with, joined by three Polish musicians who are new in this Tonus-constellation. Tonus is a project started in 2017 by Dirk Serries. From what I understand ‘Tonus’ refers as well to a graphic score by Serries, as to an open ensemble-format performing in different line ups. The title ‘Intermediate Obscurities III’ suggests the existence of other versions of this collective improvisation. And yes there is an album titled ‘Intermediate Obscurities I +IV’, released on his own A New Wave of Jazz-label. This album has two different versions performed by two different Tonus-line ups. I suppose these improvisations start from an identical idea what makes them a series. As I don’t know this album I can’t judge about any (dis)continuity being the case here. So let us turn to ‘Intermediate Obscurities III’. This is one long extended improvisation departing from a very reduced approach. I’m not sure if it is appropriate to say, but Serries we know all from his ambient-background, and now moves again toward ambient territories albeit in the context of free improvised music. That’s interesting. Does it give a new perspective for improvised music, for ambient music or both? Whatever with ‘Intermediate Obscurities III’ we witness an interaction that consequently works from a very minimalistic approach from start to finish. The music moves on slowly and quietly. Pointillistic and static, it is constantly very close to silence. And that is where they prefer to stay throughout this extended meditation. Expect no eruptions or strongly contrasting movements. That’s not where this music is about. Everything ‘happens’ on a microlevel. And it is fascinating how they really maximize what is in it, staying within this frame.

Thompson & Taylor

Label affliates DANIEL THOMPSON and BENEDICT TAYLOR just released a brandnew duo album on Daniel’s new label Empty Birdcage Records.
Lovely double disc with top-notch free improvisation from the British scene by these two great chaps.

Impetus Live

“Impetus, featuring a Belgium-based trio, defines new parameters in hushed, moderato intonation.” Jazz Word (Canada)

In 2019 we released ‘Impetus’, a fine album by Martina Verhoeven (piano), Kris Vanderstraeten (percussion) and Dirk Serries (acoustic guitar). The trio did some concerts to promote the album and on January 24th this year they played at Pletterij (Haarlem, The Netherlands). This is the full and unedited live registration.

Andrew Lisle

One of our absolute favorite drummers on the label and if the pandemic allows us more to follow for sure but meanwhile here he is in top form with this trio featuring Charlotte Keeffe on trumpet and Otto Willberg on double bass at his Summer Studios residency at Sage Gateshead, UK. Out now is Andrew’s duo with Colin Webster ‘New Invention‘.