poniedziałek, 22 maja 2017

Völga - the artistic quartet by Fernando Carrasco, Àlex Reviriego, Iván González and Vasco Trilla. The reviews in english

I would like to announce that CD Völga by Fernando Carrasco, Àlex Reviriego, Iván González and Vasco Trilla, the first recordings of the new label Multikulti Project/ Spontaneous Music Tribune Series, is still available from this place in net: to buy

Below the first review of this music, created by Maciej Lewenstein, the author of the book Polish Jazz Recordings and Beyond. Published by permission.

After it, the english translation of the review created by me in polish and published at Spontaneous Music Tribune in march.

***** Völga, Multikulti Project/ Spontaneous Music Tribune Series, MPSMT001 Vasco Trilla (dr & assorted perc); Fernando Carrasco (acous g, elec g, objects); Alex Reviriego (b, prep b); Iván González (t). March 2016.

Andrzej Nowak, whom I met at the concert promoting "Völga" in Màgia Roja in Barcelona, is together with my friend Tomasz Konwent a co-producer of this incredible album and the initiators of the Spontaneous Music Tribune series. During his stay in Barcelona he told me that he would seek means to produce improvised music mostly from the Peninsula Iberica, because this kind of music is particularly fresh and exploratory. After thinking about, after listening to "Völga" several times, after the first week of May 2017 with Agustí Fernández Liquid Quintet, El Pricto and Vasco Trilla I must say that I agree completely. The scene around Barcelona led by Agustí, has its cult clubs: SODA Acústic, associated with El Pricto, and 23 Robadors, associated with Ramon Prats, Tom Chant, Vasco Trilla, Albert Cirera, and others. Barcelona has an amazing label led by El Pricto: Discordian Records, that makes releases only in the electronic form, but has already over 100 positons in the catalogue.

Lisbon is another heaven for avantgarde music with the label like Clean Feed Records (that includes in the catalogue Tim Berne, Carlos Bica, Anthony Braxton, Mark Dresser, Ellery Eskelin, Peter Evans, Scott Fields, Fight the Big Bull, Charles Gayle, Dennis Gonz'alez, Mary Halvorson, Alfred Harth, Tony Malaby, Joe Morris, Evan Parker, Elliott Sharp, Ken Vandermark, Otomo Yoshihide...), and musicians like Rodrigo Amado, Miguel Mira, Gabriel Ferrandini and so on. Saying all that I must admit that I am ashamed: I have never been to Lisbon.

Why is "Völga" so special? Why Andrzej Nowak writes in the liner notes "All that tend to expect from an improvising quartet, all the typical delight which we imbibe from the improvising trumpet, guitar, double bass and drums, lose all its significance at this very moment. The album in front of us wil significantly break our longstanding acoustic habits. " And it does indeed.

There several things one can say about this album, and I summarize them below. Some are rational, some not...
• This record sounds amazingly fresh. You have never listened to something like that before.
• In a sense the music can be qualified as a contemporary free improvised minimalism. Long, repetitive sounds and sound patterns are overwhelmingly present. Yet, the music is collectively improvised, so in this sense very different from typically composed minimalistic compositions
• The music is predominantly acoustic. 50 years after the debuting performance of Jimi Hendrix Experience in Tops of the Pops electric guitar with all its possibilities became maybe not acoustic instrument, but evidently not THE instrument of the electronic music.
• Practically all members of the group play instruments, but what they play does not sound like the instruments they play. This is particularly true about Vasco: his drums/percussion can sound like a violin or synthesizer. But, this is true about the others also: the trumpet may sound like a saxophone or percussion, the guitar with a bow may sound like a cello, the prepared bass may sound like a percussion set or a trumpet, and so on.
• The music is quiet and meditative, yet there are internal mini-explosions of emotions, something I have never heard before.

The disc contains four track named after places on the Volga river: "Valdái", "Samara", "Kalmukya" and "Astrakhan". They all are similar, yet very different, but there is no reason to distinguish one. The record is outstanding as a whole.

by Maciej Lewenstein

Völga - the artistic quartet by Fernando Carrasco, Àlex Reviriego, Iván González and Vasco Trilla

Time and place of the event: 18 March 2016, Saudades Studio, Canovelles (Barcelona province).

People and objects: Fernando Carrasco - acoustic and electric guitar, effects and objects, Àlex Riveriego - double bass, also the prepared one, Iván González: - trumpet, Vasco Trilla - percussion instruments. In the acoustic space of the recording - as heard from the left to the right - the guitar, percussion set, trumpet and double base.

What we play: improvised music, signed by their creators, musicians who constitute the quartet (all music by Volga).

The final effect: four improvisations, each carrying a title (total of 47 minutes and 33 seconds), released under the Völga label, which is the quartet’s own name as well as the album title. The publisher is the new publishing initiative Multi Project/ Spontaneous Music Tribune Series.

Subjective impressions/ the course of events:

Valdái. A highly excited drummer, like a gold-plated music-box, sets all objects within his reach into a subtle resonance. The trumpeter plays his opening song which has no beginning and no end, but singe, deep double bass accords and metallic stains of the guitarist. He is supported in the strenuous process, which in fact aims at the critical attraction of the listener. Let’s foresee the course of events - it will be successful, from the first sound to the end of this river journey. Musicians heat up their acoustic fire (we are playing without amplification!) and fall into a delicate vibration initiated by Trilla. González infects, and all the others stain each other, search for a common sound track for this primal escapade. For a moment they are caught in the lapse of judgement, they speak to each other and soak their feet in the fluid sonority of their instruments.

Samara. Àlex’s double bass growls and thunders with the bow generating coupling and dense, sticky sounds. Fernando plugs his guitar cable to the socket and acquires pure electric energy from the network. However, all musicians seem to be connected to electricity. They scrub the uneven weight of the recording studio floor. Vasco only waits to implement his dirty resonance machine (set of bells and various objects, which additionally enhance the vibration of the whole percussion set). Iván hits the surface of the music as if from the underneath and blows his tin, not the first and not the last time today, to break the convention of this musical excess. Chords in subgroups multiply, cunningly escalated, without waiting to sound, stick to each other and search for new ground of coexistence. The space of the spectacle grows, the walls in the studio expand. Fully-heated Vasco multiplies the orchestra of bells and overwhelms the acoustics of the event. The music rages, buzzes, carves the walls. Fernando continuously stains the area, red paint trickles from the guitar neck. Iván whines, like a coyote in a heat. Àlex extracts low notes from the very depth of the ground. Global Acoustic Underground, so should be called the quartet if it fancied a commercial success. Our ears are flooded with gigantic, volcanic drone, filled by four jointly sounding and strongly resonating instruments.
From the reviewer’s room: the impressive sound quality which we owe to both Denys Sanz recording the sound in the studio and Rafał Drewniany responsible for mastering. The guitar resonates like a burnt analogue amplifier, it has its own dramaturgical nerve, which carries timid signs of rhythm. The sound of the key fragment of the album is mainly Fernando’s participation. Iván perfectly counterpointed such escalations, Àlex is in a slight withdrawal as if he is weaving his own story, and Vasco polishes cymbals to make them clean for the next stage of the journey.

Kalmukia. A little bell set and modest blows on the tin side. The musicians create a new reality as a part of the spatio-temporal recovery after the rough Samara. Fernando returns to the acoustic incarnation of his strings. He weaves clever and delicate drones, using mainly flageolet technique and being beautifully repetitive. Iván and his trumpet, once more against the convention, attempt a coup in the high register. Àlex having a better feel for the artistic climate of withdrawal of this part of the story, plays the double bass in such a high tune that he almost blends with the electroacoustics of the guitarist. Vasco enters into this melange with a lark’s charm, without using a drum or a snare. A slow, focused multitone, having almost no low frequencies, rolls us to the edge of the hill. The great symphonic orchestra whines softly and asks for a sip of water. Kalmukia, however, sounds compulsively.

Astrakhan. The next river appears to be quite vicious and bristling with unexpected cataracts. Instruments heated to redness (although siberian rivers are known to be chilly) merge into a polyrhythmic dance. Vasco watches over the stream of events, stimulating vibrations and keeping the fire alive. Fernando strokes the strings with a leaded bow. An intense game of unmarked cards. The drone falters a bit and for a moment each musician weave his own separate micro story. At this point Àlex peaks most painfully, and importantly, in a fully-bodied manner. Iván unexpectedly decides to become a drummer, as if against all odds. It effects in molecular, densely woven improvisation, almost within the “search and reflect” esthetics. It’s inter-genre character, unexpectedness and downright epiphanic character, pour out in the reviewer’s room filling over half of the space. In a search for an accurate punch, Fernando (acoustically) yet again searches for the loop of the rhythm and when he finds it, he draws the territory, arranges the space and get his colleagues on their feet. Vasco remembers that he has taken drums for this session. Àlex hits the strings of the double bass with bear’s grace and Iván makes sounds almost melodically, he is sensually Spanish as befits an Andalusian.
In the final, however, all are attracted by the percussionist who escalates multitones of his army of metal cymbals. The drama of the last moments is arranged by a drone, a multitone which reappears on several occasions, unable to make decision concerning his role in this spectacle, as if the end of the album was the end of anything.

by Andrzej Nowak 

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