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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mike Nord & Georg Hoffmann - The Flow, Music For Improvised Dance (Leo Records, 2010) ****

Guitarist Mike Nord and percussionist Georg Hofmann had played before, for 25 years even, and already released earlier on Leo with a quartet. Here they improvise for over an hour in one go, recorded at a dance performance of Hideto Heshiki and Nurya Egger, and it all sounds very seamless, very calculated even at times, despite the total lack of preconceptions. The music is minimalist, but rhythmic, full of lyricism and quite accessible. Don't expect melodies or structures : as the title suggests, it all flows, the sounds of the guitar are sustained, full of deep reverb, loops and electronic live alterations, yet they are crystal clear at the same time.

As Nord describes in the liner notes: "Flow is a state where the outside world disappears behind the intense focus and commitment of the performance moment". The end result has a kind of primal feel, very expansive, with the guitar adding layers of sustained sound, accentuated with often hypnotic rhythms, like the creation of time itself.

A really strong performance, and despite the nature of the music, full of variation.

Watch their "Footprints" performance on Youtube

© stef