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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Eyal Maoz & Asaf Sirkis - Elementary Dialogues (Ayler, 2009) ***½

The "Elementary Dialogues" in the title refers to the most limited combination imaginable : a melodic instrument accompanied by percussion, in this case Eyal Maoz on electric guitar and Asaf Sirkis on drums. I only know Maoz from his Tzadik releases, but here he sounds different: harsher, raw, less melodic, dissonant, but very rhythmic. The first piece, called "Reggae", sets the tone well : a composed melody is used as a pretext to improvise, but then full of rhythm and boundary-breaking sounds, yet very focused and relatively accessible. It is not as "out there" as Nels Cline and Greg Bendian's rendition of Coltrane's Interstellar Space, but it goes in that direction, with the exception of "Miniature", a sweet and melodic piece. To both musicians' credit, they're creating something authentic and powerful, and the music is great, it must be said. No pyrotechnics for the sake of demonstrating skills, nor noise to make noise, but just raw and intense high energy dialogues of a screeching guitar and relentless drumming, but both with a story to tell, with moments of humor even. Not bad at all.

Listen and download from eMusic.
© stef