Lescence of Life

Here’s another ad-hoc jazz-improv band made up of Circum-Disc regulars, on the record Lescence / Gmatique (CIRCUM-DISC LX013). It’s drummer Peter Orins, Barbara Dang on the piano, and the woodwinds of Sakina Abdou. Abdou we’ve heard before on Air Bump, Quelque Chose Au Milieu (as half of Bi-Ki?), and Feldspath, but for some reason her work is just starting to click into distincto-mode for me. There’s nothing like a good slow drone to showcase the mouth skills of any given sax blurter, and the first of these long tracks – ‘Lescence’ – delivers just this, crawling along like a despairing mammoth on the way to the nearest ice block.

Besides the lower-register groanings, Sakina also dirties up the surface with her scrabbly non-musical spatter gestures which I presume require her to form her mouth into the shape of a Play-Doh Fun Factory, the better to extrude dry notes in bizarre shapes. Orins contents himself with snapping twigs by a campfire, while Dang (could there possibly be a better surname for one who plays this instrument?) may have prepared her keyboard in some way or is avoiding playing the actual notes in favour of inserting metal mitts inside the stringed belly. The threesome have joined a conspiracy to avoid linear sense, ditching conventions in an effort to generate incoherent, broken sounds. Great!

The general plan continues on the next lengthy lanyard, titled ‘Gmatique’, but for this workout the trio grow slightly more agitated and tend to fill the available oxygen with more actions and gestures per square minim. Even so, the music remains both noisy and minimal, which is a rare feat to be darning your socks with. “Pure tones,” boasts the press release, and “returned timbres.” An all-acoustic bare-bones abstractathon. Now I want to hear more from Barbara Dang, but apart from her appearance somewhere on Feldspath, this seems to be her only recording available. For those around the Lille area, I guess you need to look out for live performances of the Muzzix combo if you want more of this atomised material. Nifterino…from 5th February 2020.

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