Click here to [close]

Friday, January 8, 2021

Keir Neuringer & Rafal Mazur - The Continuum (Fundacja Słuchaj, 2020) ****

By Stef Gijssels

Both altoist Keir Neuringer and acoustic bass wizard Rafał Mazur have a unique voice on their instrument,  and their combined sound is even more unique: intense, warm, relentless and technically brilliant. 

Their first reported album dates from 2010, "Improwizje" soon followed by "Unison Lines" in the same year. They released two more duo albums: "The Krakow Letters" (2014) and "Diachronic Paths" (2016). 

This album brings us a live performance at a concert in Krakow in 2018. The first track "The Distant Path", is a breath-taking 26 minutes long high energy powerhouse. Mazur alternates between arco and pizzi and Neuringer's circular breathing and repetitive phrases around a tonal center result in a mesmerising performance. The timbral quality of both instruments, their relentless forward-moving physicality and the deep emotional power of their delivery leads to something unique. The second track "The near past", is even more uptempo and full of frenetic agitation, and their nervous interaction continues on "The Present". 

The initial dynamics of "The Near Future" are more hesitant and interrupted, with a more questioning attitude of the instruments, and little pockets of quiet even. "The Distant Future" is more welcoming and even gentle, with even moments with joyous phrases and interaction. 

Rafal Mazur explains the philosophy behind the music and the title of the album and its tracks in the long liner notes: "When you abandon the conventional limitations on thought and cognition and look at the world with a systemic approach to life, beginnings and ends begin to blur, lose their focus, lose their previous meaning, and ultimately cease to be clear." I can only encourage interested listeners to read the whole text. 

A real treat. 

Listen and download from Bandcamp.