Te Shii Es Tah

Enjoying the album Te Shii Es Tah (VETO RECORDS) by Sekhmet, a Swiss trio who play cello, piano, synths, and drums. The label’s often associated with jaunty free improv records, but Sekhmet don’t entirely fit that profile, and have an unusual sound with an approach to match. Elements of free playing are discernible, but the trio play with such poise and care that the results end up sounding more like modern chamber music that’s been bleached out and faded through 200 bottles of industrial-strength Scelsi, after a pre-wash in a gallon of Feldman…now that I think of it, perhaps more modernist composers should lend their names to brands of laundry products. While ‘So Osun’ may satisfy your thirst for brittle, boney improv of a spidery nature, a track like ‘Af’tah’ is so attenuated it’s barely hanging by a thread, and the subtle brushed gong recordings of Prévost or Wastell seem positively rich in comparison. ‘Liv’ is a solemn funeral drone punctuated by slow ponderous chords from the piano, and ‘Khshnash’ is like the lead violinist from an Luigi Nono concert stepping out for a duet with a one-handed Dannie Richmond. Many of these tunes are short, intense miniatures, but you’ve also got longer workouts such as ‘Clerte O Gun’ where the threesome work themselves into a controlled frenzy of hate, sawing and hammering the guts out of modern music before laying the cadaver in its grave. Sara Käser, Raphael Loher and Vincent Glanzmann are the talented threesome creating this distinctive and innovative acoustic melange of dissonant marmalade. From 9th October 2015.

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