Monday, December 26, 2022

Andy Moor, Tommaso Rolando – Sessione Pre Angiou (Torto Editions, 2022)

By Fotis Nikolakopoulos

Is it possible to reinvent yourself often or regularly? Is it a given for improvisation or something sought for, even for the most radical side of experimental music? Those are basic questions posed for and by artists like Andy Moor, a guitarist who has travelled a long way for than three decades now. Be it the avant-punk deniers of music business The Ex, his associations with Yiannis Kyriakides’ Unsounds label (check out his latest duo with saxophonist Christine Abdelnour) or his numerous small scale collaborations, his guitar is always flexible and well travelled.

Double bassist Tommaso Rolando is a new and very welcome addition to my personal list of favorite bassists. Haven’t listened to his music before (even though his 2019 vinyl duo with Jean Rene on the viola, again on Torto, has immediately become a favorite), I instantly felt the connection between the two improvisers. This recording firstly surfaced, as a digital only release, on the always worth checking Catalytic Sound co-op, but in 2022 Torto Editions made a CD out of it for us lucky fetishists.

But how about the music? The two tracks that comprise Sessione Pre Angiou, clocking just over fifty minutes, never saturate the listener with an attack of chords. Nowadays there’s a big tradition of what to expect when you listen to an electric guitar and a double bass. Many times it’s just chords, chords, chords, feedback and ferocious plucking. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong about all that, apart from the fact it can become a mannerism and many times it is.

The two musicians avoid the easy paths on both tracks of the CD, called Vobbia part 1 and 2. The sound palette varies. They can become quite angular and energetic, presenting an edgy affair for the listener. At other points the sounds are less audible. Moor, a veteran of the guitar, has mastered the ethics or alternative tuning, of, generally, trying always for something new, reinventing, going back and forth on an instrument so heavy from this “rock” tradition and not only. Rolando seems to prefer a more noble approach, using the bow a lot, giving space and time to the guitar.

Sessione Pre Angiou was recorded live (this was the first time they played together, believe it or not…) at an old barn north of the city of Genova and in front of a lot of children! If I had to invent a new term, I would call their music spiky esoterica. Apart from any label that puts music in a box, this is a fine release going all the way to my best-off for 2022.

All proceeds from sales will go to, so you can listen to here:


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