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Friday, May 10, 2024

divr – Is This Water (We Jazz, 2024)

By Fotis Nikolakopoulos 

The music of divr, the trio of Philipp Eden on piano, Raphael Walser on double bass and Jonas Ruther on drums, is new to my ears. Their take on improvised music includes a pop sensibility (is it just me or the wonderful artwork is their first message towards this direction?) that covers a lot of ground connecting jazz with electronic rhythmology.

The questions posed by Is This Water could be translated as “what kind of music is this”? Their fusion of languages, styles and clusters of chaotic rhythms demands the listener’s attention, while they compete on how to absorb as many ideas as possible. The listen to each, act and react. Their music, based on all three instruments equally, derives from putting rhythm under the spell of timbre, while they interact without egos.

I spoke about fusion just above and I don’t mean only in the Miles’ way. They fuse elements of ambient musics, melodies of ballads, the high energy of jazz and a double bass that is as flexible as this gigantic instrument can be. The post production of Dan Nicholls allows for the recording to breath heavily outside any preconceived idea of how a piano-drums-bass trio should sound. It seems that they, quite easily, got rid of the entire burden from jazz tradition.

Well, you know, this can happen when the approach towards the music (and themselves I guess) is open, flexible, without the great aspirations of a finished product. Is This Water feels like a promise of more to come, but with a less is more approach.