Bona Dicta

Free improvisation from Europe by three heavyweights on this latest release in the very extensive Improvisors series (KONTRANS 95). Ute Wassermann, Jaap Blonk and Michael Vorfeld did this over two days in 2018…as might be expected when Jaap is on the case, this one’s thick on the voices and mouth-related effects, ans Ute gets in on the action with a wide variety of whistles and other implements, creating a shopping list which suggests he’s more at home with the animals (jaguars, frogs, birds) than with the human race. Meanwhile the expert Vorfeld supplies minimal percussion, low-key throbbing electronics, and his home-made lightbulb instrument. Some of the cuts are a bit too skittery and zanoid for me, but at least they’re lively and exciting; my tastes run to tracks like the seven-minute ‘Central Dot’, which is a bit like being shut in a cage at the zoo full of brooding brutes – the situation could turn nasty any second…and ‘Radio Clan’, which provides a sullen background hum and chatter effect for the two vocalisers to hang their beast-like grunts and purrs. There’s also the finale ‘Tidal Burn’, which suddenly turns the tables on the listener when we realise these animals have a language all of their own, and they’ve been trying to tell us something. Decoders at the ready…let’s try and build a bridge between the species. Via ToonDist who handle all “new music from the Netherlands”. Arrived 18th March 2019.

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