Monday, February 29, 2016

Mats Gustafsson - Piano Mating (Blue Tapes and X-Ray Records, 2016)

When I saw that Mats Gustafsson would be making an album called Piano Mating, I was very interested and looking forward to hearing it. I thought that it would be an album that was the latest in a long line of musicians who have a main instrument but will also record on piano as well. Musicians like Charles Mingus, Anthony Braxton, Charles Gayle and others. When I finally did heard it, it stopped me in my tracks, and was nothing like I had expected. The music is two long tracks (two side-long tracks on the vinyl LP) where Gustafsson uses a Dubreq Pianomate to make two slowly developing electronic drones that are hypnotic and are akin to a kinder, gentler version of Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music LP. This is certainly beyond any jazz or free jazz realm that Gustafsson usually explores, but it is hard if not impossible to explain what exactly it really is. I think the music will be something that is totally subjective and may be different for each listener. On the Blue Tapes website, he states:

"Letting the sounds create the music. Slow. Listening for it and going for it. Never pushing it. Hard to describe, actually. And of course, part of the mystery of it all."

I think that covers it, long spacey tones that could have come from the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey and music that is completely original and beyond genre. Piano Mating -

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