Monday, October 28, 2019

Made to Break - F4 Fake (Trost Records, 2019)

Made to Break is a very exciting modern jazz band that mixes electric and acoustic instruments in new and compelling ways. The current version of the group features Ken Vandermark on saxophone and clarinet, Christof Kurzmann on electronics, Jasper Stadhouders on bass and Tim Daisy on drums. Whether they are working funk and groove rhythms into their music or delving into electronic tinged free jazz, this album remains a compelling and exciting edition to the bands catalog. "Aaton (For Orson Welles) begins fast and funky with electric bass and saxophone with drums. Sparks of electronics add elements of randomness to the music, as their collective improvisation gets more outre as the music evolves, and the electronics is the wildcard throwing glitches into the mix. After a few beats of silence, there is a quieter repetitive sound in open space, with Vandermark's clarinet moving cautiously, building a quiet complex free improvisation with electronics, bass guitar and percussion building and intense conversation. There is space for a rolling drums solo, met by ominous electric bass, lurking like a predator and bringing the full band back together, with Vandermark returning to tenor saxophone. The music here is raw and exciting, with deeply felt saxophone backed by dense slabs of bass guitar and deeply rhythmic percussion, before open electronic tones and quieter acoustic sounds lead to a spare and softer conclusion. An interesting bassline is woven through "Meccano Number 7 (for Julio Cortazar)" with light percussion and thematic saxophone working together very well at a medium up tempo. The playing gets fast and tight, and the band is locked in with electronics coming in along side the bass to add color and hue, splashing light and sound around the music and sending the other band members off in an entirely new direction. The music becomes more free and stoic, bass and saxophone driving forward relentlessly, with smears of electronic sounds and noise burrowing their way in to the music, changing the genetic code of the performance. With a few seconds of quiet, the the approach shifts to probing clarinet and percussion, with longer tones of electronic sounds rising and lowering in pitch as the bass moves in, developing a piercing and hypnotic sound. "Agora (For Zelia Barbosa)" is anchored by heavy distorted bass guitar with tenor saxophone leading to full out free jazz improvisation that is fierce sounding with electronics and acoustic instruments melded together. The music is visceral and potent, but dynamic in its uses of silences and open spaces. With an advanced technique bass solo slashing and scorching the air around it, the band builds back in and develops a more atmospheric sound. Clarinet and skittish electronics use the instruments as building blocks of sound in a constructive process. Stadhouders really shines on this track, anchoring, soloing, doing it all. Vandermark comes back on tenor saxophone, digging in deep and pushing the sound, as trumpet like electronics emerge adding to the overall quality of the musical sound. Electronics with bass and drums full band tenor electronics glitches, creating a soundscape that is unique to this group. F4 Fake -

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