Andrzej Nowak has been blogging about free improv music since the end of 2015 over at the Spontaneous Music Tribune. As often happens among those active in modern music circles, he decided to take a step further and release music independently.
Nowak partnered with The Multikulti Project on a Spontaneous Music Tribune Series, a project focused on improvisation music made in and around Europe’s Iberian Peninsula.
The series includes four releases so far, all of which feature dynamic, accomplished performances. There is lots of intensity here, not surprisingly. But not all of it is presented at a high volume.
Völga – Völga
The four-track album opens quietly, and not a little ominously. You will struggle to identify the sounds early on, and as a result you’re drawn in quickly.
“Valdái” builds slowly, never quite hitting the kind of climax we’re used to hearing on albums of this kind. In fact, the first really solid blow isn’t struck until about nine minutes into track two, the richly produced “Samara.” Despite the album’s relatively traditional instrumentation, its material has an electronic feel that is exciting in this quartet’s capable hands.
Features: Fernando Carrasco on acoustic and electric guitars, effects and objects; Àlex Reviriego on double bass and prepared double bass; Iván González on trumpet; and Vasco Trilla on percussion.
Memoria Uno – Sons Of Liberty Live at Granollers
This hour-long performance captured the ever-evolving orchestra in fine form. With González in the lead, we’re treated to a dramatic mix of heavy, dense and spacious sections.
The range is extreme, and a big part of what makes the album so impressive.
Features: Iván González, conductor; Julián Sánchez and Pol Padrós, trumpets; Tom Chant and Albert Cirera, tenor and soprano saxophones; Alfonso Munoz, alto and baritone saxophones; Christer Böthén, bass clarinet; Pablo Rega, guitar; Agustí Fernández, piano; Johannes Nästesjö and Alex Revirie, double bass; Núria Andorra, percussion; Oriol Roca and Ramon Prats, drums; and Sonia Sánchez, dance.
Phicus – Plom
Ferran Fages’ guitar gets things started in decidedly off-kilter fashion, and the trio takes it from there. Full of starts and stops, the album’s fitful phrasing is riveting.
“Plom 1,” a highlight on the album, may be the most punk rock improv recording we’ve heard this year. It is enormous.
Features: Ferran Fages, guitar; Alex Reviriego, double bass; and Vasco Trilla, drums.
Albert Cirera – Lisboa’s Work
This is the series’ most recent release, having landed Oct. 11. It is also its most minimalist.
Cirera has a ton of range. These 11 tracks offer everything from creative breathing to squeaks, blurts and in-your-face blasts. Maybe the least predictable solo disc of 2017.
“Young kitchen” has to be heard to be believed. His sax sounds like a fire truck racing through a construction site. Or perhaps, given the track’s title, it is a six-year-old with a handful of utensils and a blender.
Features: Albert Cirera, tenor, soprano and prepared saxophone.