Friday, December 09, 2016

Mats Gustafsson and Christof Kurzmann - Falling and Five Other Failings (Trost Records, 2016)

This is an interesting album of experimental music with Mats Gustafsson playing tenor, baritone and bass saxophones along with the piano mate and Christof Kurzmann using electronics, loops and vocals. The music on this album began as studio based free improvisations with a part of each improvisation that the musicians were most excited by from a musical standpoint was lifted out and kept as an individual composition. The studio was used as a starting point, to create the kernel that would be further developed be the musicians adding and extrapolating upon it. The music that is explored on this collection of recordings is open ended pulse, moving away from the rhythmic nature of jazz and free improvisation. Gustafsson has developed these seeds through his unique approach to his instruments, and the development of pulsating frameworks and volume. The music becomes like an improvised suite between the two musicians, with Gustafsson employing a number of slurs, smears and other techniques that give his saxophone playing an otherworldly quality and Kurzmann returns the favor by adding an electronic soundscape using his laptop and the software that he runs on it, called ppooll and other technology that alternately frames and challenges the music to move forward, looping and distorting the sounds to create a unique atmosphere. The software gives Kurzmann nearly infinite manufacturing possibilities for sound, from creating new material that's used later in performance, and processing sonic events in real time. Kurzmann also sings and vocalizes on “Falling” which adds a different aspect to the music and gives his partner a chance to play some thoughtful and compelling music to support the voice. They bring an interesting conception and approach to experimental music that will hopefully yield further collaborations. Falling and Five Other Failings -

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