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Monday, February 11, 2008

Mats Gustafsson & Paal Nilssen-Love - Splatter (Smalltown Superjazz, 2007) ***

Here are Mats Gustafsson and Paal Nilssen-Love again. This is the umpteenth time that the Swedisch saxophonist and the Norwegian drummer must have played together, and from the sound of it, they're still enjoying and - what's more - still looking for new forms. "Splatter" is very much a percussion-driven record, with short bursts of sounds and rapid-fire interactions. The music is intense in the sense that it is not a violent blowing session, but you have the impression that most of the music is not getting out of their instruments, but stuck somewhere between mind and reality. What is coming out, are short notes, snorts, screeches, half-realized concepts, muffled rumblings, a few wails, some agonizing howling, and hard and raw interaction. This 20-minute long EP shows both musicians in top-form, but is not for the faint of heart.