Slow minimal improv from the team of Werner Dafeldecker and Lucio Capece on their Iteration (ANOTHER TIMBRE at162).
These are both accomplished and respected players in their fields of endeavour, and it might be that a lot of the success on this recording (from a 2019 live performance in Munich) comes from the duo knowing each for a few years, and playing together – when prompted to discuss how much of the music was pre-planned, our man Dafeldecker responds in cagey fashion that they simply share similar musical interests and have similar histories, which might be all that’s needed. My sense is that minimal improvisation is evolving all the time these days, with one rarefied strand following another in a gigantic vivarium of mutating life forms, and it’s knowledgeable musicians like these who are breathing life-sustaining vapours into the atmosphere. I say “breathing” because I can’t seem to escape the in-out mechanism of familiar punch-bags, the old lungs that is, when listening to this stately music, and that’s not just due to the woodwind work of Argentinean genius Capece, although his work here on bass clarinet and slide saxophone is as refined as an entire facility full of natural gas. It’s the subtle interplay of two enormous land masses navigating carefully across a frozen sea, where 90% of their true power is kept submerged and only called on when necessary.
Another part of it is to do with that ever-elusive quality which I sometimes call “room tone” – musicians with a fine ear understand it perfectly and often swap anecdotes, I assume, about certain venues to avoid, but here it’s become a positive presence thanks to Capece’s subtle amplification of the space, aided perhaps by feedback from his mini speakers. At least one source sees fit to credit him with “room acoustics”, and this record, if listened to attentively, may indeed succeed in suggesting a virtual space around the listener as surely as a blueprint drawn with a mercury pen in zero gravity conditions. Play Part I of this unedited set to hear more of the “breathing” metaphor being recast in unusual ways, or Part II if you want to liven up your day with some sparky, harsh bass plucks and ominous wooden creaks from the Dafeldecker half of the act, who stirs much like a Titan emerging from his cave to deliver a message to the world. Plus there’s a cover photo of a near-empty landscape with a deep blue sky, supplied by Capece and his immobile lens device.
All of Simon Reynell’s releases on this label are of a high standard and fit well within his admirable aesthetic and label identity, plus he knows a lot about the music he curates, and about the musicians he works with. From 21 February 2022.