Tim Niland // Music and More (June 9, 2019)

The duo of Mette Rasmussen on alto saxophone and Julien Desprez on electric guitar recorded this experimental duet album in France in September of 2016. (Live performance from same month) The music is raw and exciting, melding sharp cries of saxophone with alternatively percussive blasts and torn screams of guitar, creating sounds which are for the most part freely improvised, but still quite accessible and well rounded. Their approaches are diverse, yet complementary, as Rasmussen works within the realm of improvised music, drawing from a wide range of influences, spanning free jazz to soundscapes, she is free to take liberties exploring her instrument, expressing what extremes the saxophone can produce in terms of sound, both prepared and unprepared. Desprez in turn explores free form music in a physical manner, providing a synthesis of technique on the instrument itself and a wide array of effect pedals, taking inspiration from the performance of tap dance, it allowed him to approach the possibilities of the whole ecology of the instrumental system of strings and pedals in a novel way. “Roadkill Junkies,” the opening track on the album, demonstrates how their individual approaches to sound creation and manipulation are quite compatible. This piece begins the album in an approachable free jazz / free improvisation setting that works quite well, giving the musicians a place to stretch out at varying speeds and sculpt a piece that is tense without devolving to chaos and providing stability and a platform for the music that will follow. The following track, “Clay on Your Skin” shows that the duo is adept at developing textures and allowing them to work into the overall sensibility of the music, allowing them to grow and alter the forms they develop with greater variety, branching further afield as the improvisation develops. As this track broadens, they begin to use long droning sounds to push the music relentlessly forward, with the deep and scouring sound of the saxophone calling out fearlessly against the waves of electric guitar, tearing it apart into a chaotic wilderness. This was a gathering of like minded musicians that was successful in achieving its goals, creating spontaneous performances that integrated the aesthetic approaches of both musicians allowing them to take the initiative to make their own individual and collective artistic statements with a form and texture of their choosing. The Hatch – Dark Tree Bandcamp

 

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