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Monday, June 27, 2011

Kontra Trio - Jeux Circulaires (Between The Lines, 2011) ****

By Stef

With the unlikely line-up of bass horns, Madeleine Bischof on contrabass flute,  Thomas K.J. Mejer on contrabass-saxophone and Leo Bachmann on tuba create a sound that is possibly unique in its kind, and that goes quite a lot beyond what you can even expect these instruments to sound like. They explore tones and drones, at times turning their instruments into a rhythm section through the clicking of the valves, shouting through the mouthpiece, whispering and whistling, yet their music remains bizarrely accessible and beautiful.

The accessibility is the result of the calm and "horizontal" development of the improvisations, often zen-like, building the long stretched phrases around silence and the occasional rock in the zen garden.  Despite some rare moments of sudden agitation, the music is serene in nature, yet very explorative and full of surprises and wonder. The end result is full of some deep yearning too.

For the trio's live performances, eight loudspeakers are installed, and the audience can move freely between them. Since the audience can only enter after the performance starts, and have to leave before it ends, the impression of a never-ending soundscape is created.

An impressive and unique listening experience.

Listen and download from eMusic.

© stef