It's already four years ago that this duo released its sophomore CD, and six years since their debut, and I must say they get even better with time, more uncompromising, more adventurous, creating sonic universes full of raw beauty. The duo are Amy Cimini on viola and Katherine Young on bassoon.
Some of the tracks are intimate, with the acoustic base of the instruments strongly and even physically very present, and on other tracks, such as the wonderful "The Assayers", a more drone-like and expansive foundation is laid for the other instrument to offer variations on, with shifting roles and changing tonal colors and timbre. A terrifying and beautiful listening experience, expansive and menacing and ominous.
The three long tracks "The Speculators", "The Surveyors" and "The Assayers", are separated by two shorter pieces, the first a deconstruction of violin sounds from aggressive voiced attack to crumbled pizzi noise. The second interlude is a noise-like snippet sounding like a dark wind interspersed with some harsh and single viola tones like a moaning siren.
The album ends with "The Surveyors", opened by Cimini's resonating bowed violin, intense and frenetic, laying down a wild repetitive pattern for the bassoon's lightly dancing and weeping phrase, until halfway the track things quiet down for subtle interaction between both instruments.
The great quality of the duo is their creativity and single-minded approach. It is indeed hard to offer references which might enable you to understand their sound. Listening to it is the only possibility. A strong album.