137CD - Forensic Trio - Heartless - CD plus download

Purchase options

Once you’ve placed your order you will receive an email with the download link, plus you can access the download at any time later using the Orders link from the top menu.

IMPORTANT NOTE TO EU CUSTOMERS. Please note - your purchase from Discus Music will be shipped to you from our fulfilment partner WITHIN the EU, which means no unexpected charges for you to pay when you receive your package!


An investigation into some smaller sounds and interactions from this new trio, plus a few excursions into more expansive territory. All of the music was improvised and performed as heard, apart from the coda of the closing track Rotten Star which is a collage. Heartless, Heartless…… / Rotten State edits together, in alternation, parts of two separate longer improvisations.

Pat plays grand piano interior and keyboard simultaneously for much of the album, while Johnny responds with sounds from a stripped back kit plus little handheld instruments. As well as laptop, I play the Eb family of saxophones here – sopranino, alto and baritone – which in my hands seek to avoid any element of the grandstanding or machismo sometimes, perhaps unavoidably, associated (at least to my ear) with the Bb instruments.

My rather downbeat titles for these pieces were thought up before the events of 2022, and it is even sadder how more appropriate they have become in the months between recording and release. Nevertheless, please find some sounds to enjoy here. – Martin Archer.

Martin Archer - electronics, alto, sopranino & baritone saxophones
Pat Thomas - piano
Johnny Hunter - drums, percussion, glockenspiel

Martin Archer’s new trio, alongside pianist Pat Thomas and percussionist Johnny Hunter, conducts something of an improvisational autopsy on this minimalist scree of ever-tightening tones and buzzing bones. The cover design does a pitch-perfect homage to the Naxos classical label, and makes for a regal display, but the sounds percolating in, out, and through this recording (and your speakers), though circumspect in their abject ‘dryness’, are nothing if not impressionistic in the broadest sense. Archer concentrates on exhuming all the spit and spasticity he can from his sopranino, alto, and baritone saxes, undergirding his fulminating outbursts with just the right touch of glistening digitalia, as heard so piquantly on the opening ten minutes of “Rotten Start”, a title steeped not so much in irony but in the trio’s then performative mood. The album’s lengthy, 25-minute+ highlight, “Heartless, Heartless / Rotten State”, calls back some of the earlier ’themes’ (née passages) of the album’s previous pieces, featuring odd pregnant pauses that magnify what arises thereafter and the forward motions of the trio. Herein, Archer’s electronic fibrillations court decidedly alien-sounding gestures, fuzzy bits of bleep and noise-whip that wouldn’t sound out of place on an Ilhan Mimaroglu or Tod Dockstader record, while Thomas’s strident piano crunk dances precipitously around Hunter’s fat snare strikes and crafty cymbal brushes. The cadences blossoming across the soundstage are at once awry, off-putting, and arresting; they seek to mirror the chaotic states overtaking our lives and psyches, and in this realm, the trio seem to possess a near-telepathic means to make flesh the rifts and tensions of our crazy spinning place, be it in the abstract or from out of the narrow confines of the studio. And storm it they do. Great stuff, for which your patience is duly rewarded. - Darren Bergstein, Downtown Music Gallry, NYC




Im FORENSIC TRIO finden wird dann wieder Martin Archer an Eb-Reeds & Laptop neben, wie auch bei Engine Room Favourites und Caines / Archer Axis, Johnny Hunter (von Sloth Racket) an Drums, Percussion & Glockenspiel und dazu dem zuletzt mit اسم = ism Moers-erprobten Keyswizard Pat Thomas. Heartless (DISCUS 137CD) ist ein Witz, denn natürlich spielen sie alles by heart, von 'Rotten Start' über 'Rotten State' bis 'Rotten Star'. Wobei das Forensic Trio in der Homo-ludens-Linie, anders als JakTar, die längst virtuos mit dem Feuer spielen, in einem paläolithischen Davor rummurxen, in dem Feuer noch ein Wunder­werk war. Jedenfalls ist der bruitistische Faktor besonders ausgeprägt, auch dadurch, dass Thomas mehr im Innenklavier plonkt und lärmt als, Potz erectus!, klimperforsch auf die Tasten zu hauen. Ausgerechnet mit Electronics evoziert Archer ein urzeitliches Am­biente, Sand, Wind, Knochenflötentöne, um zum Entenquak des Sopraninos, zu Stein und Bein und Hunters klopfenden Bemühungen metallische Sonic Fiction zu fabulieren, die Donnerschlägen und der Furcht vor Raubtierpfoten trotzt. - Rigobert Dittmann, BAD ALCHEMY