83CD - Eclectic Maybe Band - Reflection In A Moebius Ring Mirror
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A second volume of the Guy Segers project where the basic live band session is enhanced by an extensive post production involving contributions from a wide range of musicians. This time round several tracks in the collection are focussed around the intense and distinctive voice of Carla Diratz.
Cathryn Robson (Vocals)
Roland Binet (Flute, Piccolo)
Martin Archer (Sax Sopranino & Alto)
Joe Higham (Sax Soprano & Tenor, Electronics)
Dave Newhouse (Sax Alto & Tenor, Bass Clarinet)
Jean-Pierre Soarez (Trumpet)
Ariane Plumerel (Violin)
Sigrid Vandenbogaerden (Cello)
Michel Delville (Guitar)
Eric Lemaître (Guitar)
Ángel Ontalva (Guitar)
Andy Kirk (Guitar, Keyboards)
Catherine Smet (Piano, Keyboards)
Guy Segers (Bass, Programming Virtual Instruments)
Franck Balestracci (Keyboards, Drums)
Martin Archer‘s Discus label continues its sonic adventures with the latest release from Belgian bassist Guy Segers’s improv project the Eclectic Maybe Band. An improbable bevy of some of the finest improv musicians, the project finds group-constructed freeform pieces sitting side by side with Guy’s speciality, which is taking improv recordings from different sessions and then stitching them together in the studio over a bass-line written especially to accompany the segments.
It is a fascinating and I imagine a rather painstaking approach, but one that reveals some extraordinary results. Allied to the fact that he has enlisted the mysterious Carla Diratz to vocalise over the top of some of these pieces, it all makes for an almost overwhelming stew of ideas and textures. There is much to take in on Reflection In A Moebius Ring Mirror, particularly as some of the pieces weigh in at over ten minutes and find various soloists being given the opportunity to stretch their legs over their unfurling.
Opener “Horizontal Bounce” is one of the live septet recordings which commences with rolling drums of Dirk Wachtelaer and the probing deep bass of Guy himself. As a rhythm section, they are tight and provide a constant sense of momentum, but it has a shadowy feel, surreptitious and shadow-hugging. Joe Higham‘s horn is smooth and the whole thing feels kind of slinky, alert yet cool. There is an expansive guitar solo that ends up duelling with a flute and cavorting deliciously down the empty street.
The album owes as much to post-rock as it does to jazz, but trying to categorize it is pointless. “Socie De Gouache”, a collective improv, is a lazy piano riff surrounded by curious sound samples that act as little triggers like a patchwork sample, obfuscated and camouflaged with judicious snare. “Oncoming Season Wake” , one of Guy’s studio constructions, gives us our first introduction to Carla’s vocals; the phrasing is unusual, as if she is trying out a new mouth and is unsure as to whether it works, so is pushing it to its limits, twisting vowels and stretching consonants. Her voice is husky and a little weary, and it is hard to believe that it was delivered over a pre-prepared track as its slight sense of unease somehow prevents the rest from settling.
The album continues in this vein, the two methods juxtaposed, but leading to a connected whole. The collective woodland improv of “Liquid Tempo In A Lost Period” finds the flute as the main protagonist, even though everybody has an opportunity to add to the search; whereas the cut-up of “Quoi?” is quite overwhelming, with the music attempting to fly on all manner of directions. It has label supremo Martin blowing some lovely clear sax, while Carla’s vocals again eschew tradition and find their own meter. It is a fascinating voice that adds such mystery to the pieces, and it is interesting that those pieces constructed by Guy around one of his basslines are often the jazziest.
Elsewhere, we have spy-theme wah-guitar, beautiful pastoral piano from Catherine Smet and even a sub-aquatic piece that evokes roiling seas, with mysterious movements and sounds emanating from points unseen. In fact on “‘Spreading An Invisible Stream”, Carla’s lyrics emerge from the murk, “half way down, half naked, half lobotomized”. It couldn’t be more curious.
Overall, Reflection In A Moebius Ring Mirror is a release of unparalleled scope, almost astounding in its reach, but with its beauty and sense of questing allowing the listener opportunities to immerse themselves. The players are all superb, and Guy’s way around the studio means that his constructed tracks are seamless yet exploratory. It is well worth taking a dip into these welcoming waters — but watch out for the currents. - Mr Olivetti, FREQ
This sophomore release of a spectacular band ensemble, not only equals but surpasses the debut (also on Discus Music label in 2018 'The Blind Night Watchers' Mysterious Landscapes' #67CD), exploring music that transcends space and time, in a framework of how we know it. With an even larger group of musicians this time, Guy Segers (Belgium) organized and arranged for these gifted and cherished artists to play freely and openly, in what will go down as a classic recording of interstellar jazz adventure. I spoke with him about any similarities (he spent countless hours editing the first album, from fully improvised sessions from one date in a studio) or differences as to how he edited, arranged, and put this second release together. His explanation was "It is like that partly. The last track was a written composition on which I had the improvisation, and finalized with instruments who play the written parts. Then I had little pieces, one "Belgian Rain drop" was done years before... the other piece with Carla is composed from bass and drums on which I add several improvised instruments taken from very different sessions. On these little pieces, I asked Carla to sing !"
I am happy to proclaim that with these changes, comes the brilliance of what you will witness on 'Reflection In A Moebius Ring Mirror'. A deep and curious sounding string of words, yet Guy said there was no special story, just a title. I do believe however, that Guy Segers must have been contacted by superior life from other planets to realize this, the stunning followup. The entire package is filled with pieces of music that take off in a rocket ship away from mother earth regions, and to places only revealed in visions from rare dreams. This has an unreal treasure trove of golden globe musicians (nearly three times the musicians used on the first release).
The complexity, the status, and the high places the artists in Eclectic Maybe Band have tapped into, is astounding. While many wonders of the world have remained fully unexplained, such as how the pyramids were built, it is only with the knowledge of what Segers clarifies, and the degree of skill from the included musicians, that this recording can be understood. In fact, I have happily added this to my TOP CHOICES of 2019 list without so much as a second thought. The mobility of style and communication of musical birth, surely must have been inside an eggshell, ready to be broken open, exposing a living thing. This thing, was hatched being so intelligent, so instantly multipliable, and full of colours, that nothing like it ever existed before. Nothing stops growing or blasting off in the beautifully performed eleven tracks. There are strong elements of Canterbury and wonderful space cadet Daevid Allen (sometimes he was known as Divided Alien - RIP) moments, especially when Carla Diraz sings (tracks 3,5,8 & 10). With a maestro's touch, Pierre Vervloseum did the mastering. With such high calibre musicians (Martin Archer who owns the Discus Music label, and plays sax on 10 & 11 just to name one), there is little wonder that the height of this project has begun reaching such unbelievable levels. Guy Segers not only plays bass on 3,5,8,9,10,11, but also did all the arrangements including samples and virtual instruments. His dedication to this has proven to be the listeners glory. Silena Lena also did the cover art for this one, as did she for the first. That is part of the luxuriant revelation of the physical gate fold compact disc. I've said less about the music in specifics than I usually do simply because one must hear this to know it. 'Reflection In A Moebius Ring Mirror' is truly an aural as well as a mental (resulting in a physical) experience. MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. See my review of the debut for further information and musical resume of Guy Segers on this momentous outfit. – Lee Henderson, BIG BEAUTIFUL NOISE
Guy Segers is best known as a founder member of the only original Rock In Opposition band still working, Univers Zéro, although they seem to be on hiatus at present. However, one look at his Bandcamp page shows there is far more to his long and distinguished career than that. One of his more recent projects is the Eclectic Maybe Band, a place where live band recordings are later embellished in the studio by a host of distinguished guest players.
Reflections In A Mœbius Ring Mirror is the second album from the collective, released on Martin Archer’s… well, there’s no better word than “eclectic” for his home for musical outliers known as Discus Music. The Eclectic Maybe Band are a perfect fit for the label, and this new album sees a rewarding collection of compositions mostly by Segers, and collective improvisations, a whole where avant songcraft finds a perfect companion in the skilful jazz chops of the brass and reeds section of the band, augmented by some wonderfully exploratory guitar work, and varied keyboards.
The vocals are handled in a highly individualistic and idiosyncratic manner by Carla Diratz, and on Practised Decent Proximity her distinctive voice, that I could label sub-Dietrich, but that would be doing it a disservice, duels with the guitars of Segers’ fellow Belgian Michel Delville, and Ángel Ontalva, a pair who know a thing or two about coruscating improv, one of whose angry scratching on this track reminds me of Keith Levene in full flight on PiL’s Metal Box.
The album opens with the rollicking bass drive of Horizontal Bounce, an anchor for joyous and fulsome instrumental flourishes from the rest of the band. The second track, Socle De Gouache, is based around a riff composed by pianist Catherine Smet, which I’m sure I’ve heard somewhere before, but I can’t put my finger on it. It may drive me insane! Oncoming Season Wake and Liquid Tempo In A Lost Period sees the band dig deep into their avant repertoire, but it is not simply “out there for the sake of it”, there’s obviously a lot of thought gone into it, as with the rest of the album.
The more composed pieces complement their avant siblings and the entity hangs together nicely. Although the album is a whopping 74 minutes long, the variety and wide-angle scope of the music keeps one’s attention throughout. When Segers hits on a bass groove, the music rolls along with the accomplished ease you would expect, given the collective’s combined musical experience. As a case in point, some wonderful sax (Joe Higham) and flute (Roland Binet) weave their way through the delightful Dérive Sous Rive Gauche, ending with some highly treated guitar (Andy Kirk), and is possibly my favourite track from the album. And it smells nice!
Carla Diratz returns for the final two tracks, the loose-limbed Quoi? and the sprawling languid 13-minute plus album closer The Perfume Of The Flying Room, rendering more odd songcraft, backed by the resident jazz ensemble in a bar on an alien trading outpost somewhere in the Shoulder of Orion. They are winding down for the night, as the last few punters prop each other up in couples, shuffling slowly round the dancefloor, lost in their own worlds. As you will be once you get to the end of this alluring and intoxicating journey.
This is a brave album that takes risks, which always seem to pay off. Although leaning towards the avant in places, the sheer musicality of Reflection In A Mœbius Ring Mirror always prevents it from becoming indulgent. If you know anything of Guy Segers’ back pages, as if that would be allowed to happen, anyway! For those of you with an adventurous ear, I cannot recommend this highly enough. A classic in the making, in my never ’umble opinion. – Roger Trenwith, THE PROGRESSIVE ASPECT
When Univers Zero founder and bassist Guy Segers formed his new project THE ECLECTIC MAYBE BAND in 2016, the project was sorta considered to be a one-off but due to the chemistry involved with the musicians and the natural flow of how it all came together, a second album was considered and only a year later the sophomore release REFLECTION IN A MOEBIUS RING MIRROR is released which is quite surprising since this sort of avant-prog project rarely gets it together in modern days to follow up a debut album so quickly. Called it old fashioned work ethics or just plain passion for the music, this second album follows in the footsteps of the debut but tames things down a bit and creates a more accessible style that revolves around jazz as much as the angular avant-prog of "The Blind Night Watchers' Mysterious Landscapes."
While the debut album was already an ambitious affair with six musicians cranking out counterpoints as if they existed in their own dimensions and convening at sonic ley lines in unseen morphogenetic fields, REFLECTION IN A MOEBIUS RING MIRROR finds a much larger addition of musicians rotating throughout the album. In addition to Segers, Roland Binet (flute, piccolo), Michele Delville (guitar), Catherine Smet (piano, keyboards) and Dirk Wachtelaer (drums) from the debut, this second offering includes two vocalists (Cathryn Robson, Carla Diratz), three saxophonists (Martin Archer, Joe Higham, Dave Newhouse), a trumpetist (Jean-Pierre Suarez), a violinist (Arlane Plumerai), a cellist (Sigrid Vandenbogaerden), more guitarists (Eric Lemaître, Angel Ontalva) and a second drummer (Frank Balestracci). Many of theses musicians also play second instruments which include clarinet, keyboards and electronic effects. Whoah! Despite such a full house, this album never seems too busy.
The first noticeable difference between the ethereal otherworldliness of the debut and this sophomore album is that this one is immediately more accessible with a funk laden bass groove and jazzy counterpoints in the keys and drums. The atmospheric spaciness is allowed off its leash fairly soon but rather than drifting off into space and into freeform, the music keeps somewhat of a structure but not like the debut that implemented zeuhl styled bass lines. This one adopts various jazz and related styles such as bebop, modal jazz and funk. "Oncoming Season Wake" introduces a vocal jazz style which is layered over the avant-prog and jazz-fusion workouts. It does sound a bit busy but despite being easier on the ear than the debut, this is still far from easy listening. While the vocals do their thing, the remaining instruments take on weird counterpoints with a freaky horror movie styled keyboard run, angular Fred Frith styled guitar workouts all the while jazzy drum rolls pummel away and various instruments peek in and out.
Given the vocals and the more structured bass lines relying on jazz, most other instruments are kept on a leash but always a lengthy one. While the grooves keep some sort of stability to the 11 tracks which takes the album to the 75 minute run of playing time, there are moments that resemble the debut. "Day Of The Tsunami" must have been one of the leftovers from those sessions as it evokes an extremely agitating swarm of angularity that relies on extreme contrast. Dissonant piano tinklings are surrounded by a chilled folky flute run while heavily distorted guitar sounds angrily duke it out in the back with no actual structure. Only the flute has a recognizable melody while the bass becomes a rhythmic time keeper as the drums as missing in action. The piano takes over where the guitars leave off and go completely bonkers as if a bar brawl had broken out on the piano itself. The drums join in and all hell breaks loose. Everything turns into a brutal noise-fest except that totally chilled out flute which emerges from the din after the raucous is over and ends the track as it began.
Overall, REFLECTION IN A MOEBIUS RING MIRROR is a really great followup. While not as out there and more structured, it introduces completely new styles of taking the avant-prog more into jazz territories. While the vocal pieces with lyrics are rather tame and don't jive with the rest of the album as perfectly as i'd like, the haunting vocals used as instruments on "Spreading An Invisible Stream" are right on target. The album is much more diverse with tame tracks and the most avant-garde possible such as the industrial sounding "Belgian Rain Drop" which features a metallic sound simulating rain drops while scary chamber rock sounds evoke the darkness of early Univers Zero, especially the frightening cacophony of "Heresie." The album finishes with the lengthy vocal jazz track "The Perfume Of The Flying Room" which sounds like a strange fusion of Miles Davis jazz, an older version of Billie Holliday with avant-prog backing. This is another bizarre album by THE ECLECTIC MAYBE BAND. Just enough of what came before and a lot of new ingredients. Personally i prefer the debut but can't deny this is a cleverly crafted jump into the pool of ECLECTIC. Love it. Silly Puppy, PROG ARCHIVES
The second album of this Guy Segers (Univers Zero) project in an eclectic ensemble of improvisers, rock musicians and experimenters, a genre-defying project of primarily instrumental work with interventions of song, merging acoustic & electric instruments with electronics, live improvisation with studio manipulation, to find new forms of mesmerizing music. - SQUIDCO
Und da ist auch schon Album Nummer 2. Ein gutes Jahr nach dem Erscheinen von "The Blind Night Watchers' Mysterious Landscapes" legt das belgische RIO-Bassurgestein Guy Segers ein zweites Album seiner Eclectic Maybe Band nach. Veröffentlicht wurde "Reflections In A Moebius Ring Mirror" im (schon recht warmen) Frühsommer 2019 wieder auf Martin Archers Label Discus Music.
Bot das erste Album relativ spontane, wohl meistenteils live im Studio entstandene Nummern, ist auf "Reflections In A Moebius Ring Mirror" auskomponierteres, bzw. ausgefeilter produziertes und mit diversen Beiträgen von Gastmusikern angereichertes Material zu finden. Die Hälfte der Nummern (die Tracks 1,2,4,6,7,8) wurde diesmal von einem Septett eingespielt (die sechs Musiker die schon auf "The Blind Night Watchers' Mysterious Lands" zu hören waren, plus Andy Kirk - Segers ehemaliger Univers-Zero-Kollege). Die restlichen Tracks basieren auf Bass-Elektronik-Gemengen, die Guy Segers kreiert, und in die er dann die Gastklänge eingebaut hat. Auch wenn sich in diesen Stücken nie eine richtige Band in einem Studio getroffen hat, ist dabei durchaus ein dichter Gruppensound entstanden (man höre z.B. das abschließende "The perfume of the flying room").
Einiges an Gesang ist diesmal zu vermelden (der Vorgänger war ganz instrumental gehalten), insbesondere von Carla Diratz (siehe Diratz), die mit ihrem dunklen Alt einige der Stücke prägt. Dazu kommen diverse namhafte Instrumentalisten, Dave Newhouse von den Muffins z.B., oder Franck Balestracci, Jean-Pierre Soarez (einst bei Art Zoyd), Angel Ontalva (von October Equus) und Martin Archer, die für klangliche Abwechslung und virtuose Soli sorgen.
In musikalischer Hinsicht wird eine interessante Mischung aus franko-belgischem Jazzrock à la The Wrong Object, freierem elektroakustischem, atmosphaerisch hallendem Tonbasteln (im langen und voluminösen "Spreading an invisible stream" z.B.), düsteren Progrockgemengen mit Kammerrocktendenzen, die bisweilen nach einer modernisierten, elektronischeren Variante von Univers Zero klingen, und frei-schrägem Freispieldurcheinander geboten. Oder, das Album bietet ein buntes Gemenge dieser Stile, druckvoll produziert, beeindruckend intensiv und virtuos musiziert, und bisweilen erweitert um bluesig-jazzige Songmomente oder textlose Stummeinlagen. Druckvoll gemastert hat das Ganze wieder Pierre Vervloesem.
"Reflections In A Moebius Ring Mirror" ist eine sehr willkommene Wortmeldung aus dem erweiterten belgischen Avantproguntergrund, die jedem Liebhaber, jeder Liebhaberin solcher Klänge, insbesondere der Musik der verschiedenen Projekte an denen Segers und Delville sonst beteiligt sind oder waren, sehr empfohlen sei. - Achim Breiling, BABYBLAUE SEITEN
Das britische Label Discus Music entwickelt sich immer mehr zu ersten Adresse für RIO und verwandte Musik. Nachdem dort schon hochkarätige Bands wie Combat Astronomy und Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere veröffentlicht wurden, ging 2018 mit der Eclectic Maybe Band eine weitere Formation an den Start, deren zweites Album Reflection in a Moebius Ring Mirror Mitte 2019 herauskam.
Eclectic Maybe Band wurde von Guy Segers, einem ehemaligen Musiker von Univers Zéro, gegründet, und mit Andy Kirk ist noch ein weiterer Musiker dieses RIO-Urgesteins an Bord. Wie schon eine Rezension höher zu lesen ist, umfasst die Musik sowohl auskomponierte Stücke (meist von Segers) als auch solche, die auf Improvisationen basieren; bei letzteren bilden Bass und elektronische Klänge von Guy Segers die Grundlage, zu denen die anderen Musiker ihre Beiträge geliefert haben. Besonders interessant dabei ist, dass die Musiker sich für diese als „collective improvisations“ bezeichneten Stücke nie im Studio getroffen haben. Die Besetzung, bei sich noch weitere illustre Namen finden, schwankt dabei zwischen drei und zehn Leuten. Meistens ist aber ein Septett zugange.
Wie klingt das Ganze nun? Gerade Worte wie „collective improvisations“ lassen vielleicht bei manchem die Alarmglocken schrillen, klingt das doch etwas nach „zielloses Gedudel“. Tatsächlich sollte man hier keine Angst vor freiformatigen Klängen haben, die finden sich in dieser Musik nämlich häufiger. Geboten wird auf Reflection in a Moebius Ring Mirror jedenfalls ein faszinierendes Klanggemenge aus dichtem Schlagwerk, sperrigem elektronischem Wabern, kammerrockigen Einlagen der Holzbläser à la Univers Zéro, jazzigen Eskapaden und sägenden Gitarren, die immer wieder mal crimsoid klingen. In einigen Stücken kommt dazu noch Gesang von Carla Diratz, deren dunkle, rauchige Stimme perfekt zu dieser Musik passt. Das Ganze kommt mit ordentlich Ecken und Kanten, wird dabei jedoch nie wirklich laut oder wüst. Wobei mancher diese Klänge vermutlich schon als wüstes Durcheinander empfinden wird.
Wie erwähnt, gleitet die Musik bisweilen in freiere Klänge ab (Liquid Tempo in a Lost Tempo oder Day of the Tsunami etwa). Wer so etwas nicht goutieren mag, dürfte mit diesem Album einige Probleme haben. Abenteuerlustigen Hörern dagegen bietet Reflection in a Moebius Ring Mirror ein faszinierendes Klangerlebnis, das beweist, dass sich Progressive Rock nicht im Aufkochen jahrzehntealter Ideen erschöpfen muss. Großartige Musik! Mehr davon! - Jochen Rindfrey, BABYBLAUE SEITEN
Voor de tweede cd van dit collectief hanteerde initiatiefnemer Guy Segers een licht verschillend scenario dan voor het debuut. Deze keer geen knip- en plakwerk na een volledige dag gezamenlijke opname maar veertien individuele inzendingen aan elkaar gelast tot één geheel. Het eindresultaat klinkt als een muzikale Rubiks kubus met verdoken zijvlakken en toegangspoorten naar parallelle werelden waar eerder de wetmatigheden uit ‘Hellraiser’ gelden. Verder lezen kan leiden tot verslaving.
De introductie bestaat uit wat bizarre geluiden, een funky baslijn, drumbeats die aanleunen bij de ritmetaal van Stéphane Galland, licht golvende saxklanken die lijken op te borrelen vanuit een verlaten kelderverdieping, een gitaar die plots een aantal keer heel snerpend uithaalt en dan vergeten we nog die nerveuze pianist die duidelijk ook deel uitmaakt van dit kleurrijk gezelschap. Een fluitist dikt het etherische gehalte wat aan. Negen minuten zweven in het ijle maar waarbij elke beweging onder totale controle gebeurt. Je zou haast denken dat het om verloren tapes gaat van Miles Davis zijn ‘Bitches Brew’ sessie.
Elf luiken in totaal waarvan de kortste afklokt op net geen drie minuten en het koninginnenstuk uitgesponnen wordt over veertien minuten. In vijf nummers worden teksten gezongen/gedeclameerd door vocaliste Carla Diratz.
Zowat alle belangrijke referentienamen uit de jazz en progpop van eind jaren zestig begin jaren zeventig mogen bovengehaald worden. Expliciete verwijzingen zijn Pink Floyd (het spacy ‘Socie De Gouache’) en de ganse Canterbury scene met Soft Machine en Robert Wyatt voorop (‘Oncoming Season Wake’). Heel wat passages vallen tevens onder wat je avant-garde (‘Liquid Tempo In A Lost Period’) en industrial noise (‘Day Of The Tsunami’) zou kunnen noemen. In ‘The Perfume Of The Flying Room’ duikt zelfs een achtergrondkoor op gekoppeld aan een trompetsolo die zowel Miles Davis als Don Cherry oproept. Mega theatraal waar Kamasi Washington meteen zou voor tekenen. Het elf minutenlange ‘Spreading An Invisible Dream’ is het meest spirituele en onheilspellende onderdeel van de saga.
In totaal werkten zeventien muzikanten mee aan dit nieuwe project. Onder hen Roland Binet, Joe Higham, Michel Delville, Andy Kirk, Catherine Smet, Franck Balestracci en Dirk Wachtelaer. De opnamen waren verspreid over verschillende data en studio’s. Alle details hierover staan minutieus vermeld op de hoes.
Een verbluffend draaiboek volledig uitgewerkt door mixmaster en bassist Guy Segers samen met zijn jarenlange “partner in crime” Pierre Vervloesem die instond voor de mastering. - © Georges Tonla Briquet, JAZZ HALO
From Brussels, Belgium, ECLECTIC MAYBE BAND is an Eclectic Prog band founded by Guy SEGER, bassist of the band UNIVERS ZERO. This band is made up of some top rate musicians, namely Roland BINET (flute, tenor saxophone), Joe HIGHAM (electronics, soprano saxophone, doudouk), Michel DELVILLE (electric guitar), Catherine SMET (keyboards) and Guy SEGERS (bass, samplers). Vocalist Carla DIRATZ also joins the band on their second album along with a huge list of additional musicians.
The band uses in-studio and live session jams, and enhance them with extensive post production contributions. The music utilizes a mix of progressive genres to arrive to their potpourri of styles, all of which are created from improvisational sessions, making the music unique and exploratory, and offering music that is sure to please everyone, especially the hardcore progressive fan.
Fans of RIO and Eclectic Prog bands will find something to love in this music, including fans of UNIVERS ZERO, ART ZOYD, Frank ZAPPA, HENRY COW, and John ZORN. - PROG ARCHIVES
After winning the debut bet with 'The Blind Night Watchers' Mysterious Landscape' , the band founded by bassist Guy Segers continues to creatively explore the possibilities of developing progressive rock and electric jazz in the direction of avant-garde jazz eclectic, always along the lines of monsters like Frank Zappa , Henry Cow , John Zorn and the electric Miles. The group - now an orchestra of 17 elements - brings together musicians of the caliber of Roland Binet (tenor saxophone, flutes), Joe Higham (electronics, alto saxophone, doudouk), Michel Delville (guitars), Catherine Smet (keyboards), Carla Diratz (vocals) and Martin Archer (saxophones). It also finds in the doubling of the drums (played by both Dick Wachtelaer and Frank Balestracci , also active on keyboards) an interesting resource to strengthen the rhythmic impact. Most of the songs are signed by Segers , but four ( Socle De Gouache , Liquid Time in A Lost Period , Day off The Tsunami and Spreading An Invisible Stream ) are collective improvisations, often tending towards abstract art, but also capable of good proposals melodic. The strength of the orchestra, as well as in the quality of the musicians, undoubtedly lies in the richness of the timbre offer, in the sound mix and in the pressing and involving rhythmic flows, but also in the suggestive atmospheres generated in particular by the improvisational moments. In the songs sung (a novelty with respect to the previous album) the dark voice of Carla Diratz is certainly preferred to that of Segers , both in improvisations such as Spreading An Invisible Stream , both in compositions such as The Perfume Of The Flying Room (in which the Diratz's rough stamp also stands out through the contrasts of the register in particular with the trumpet by Jean-Pierre Soarez and with the strings). In general the project is definitely a winner and we'll see how it continues. – A G Bertinetto, KATHODIK
Lascia o raddoppia? Guy Segers non ha avuto dubbi tornando a questo progetto cui pare tener tanto, dal momento che la formazione messa in campo è più che raddoppiata rispetto all’album di esordio. In realtà, i musicisti non suonano mai tutti insieme, anzi per molti si è trattato di registrare in studi differenti gli interventi strumentali e/o vocali poi ri/composti dallo storico bassista degli Univers Zero, che una volta di più fa mostra di capacità ammirevole nel lavoro di studio, di post produzione. L’organico di base è sempre il sestetto già rodato nel precedente album (Binet, Delville, Higham, Smet, Wachtelaer e lo stesso Segers) qui rafforzato dalla presenza di Kirk, mentre in ordine sparso si aggiungono contributi vari, alcuni dalle propaggini di quella che fu la scena RIO, come nel caso dell’ex Muffins, Newhouse, e di Soarez degli Art Zoyd. Ogni brano è un puzzle con le tessere ritagliate su misura da Segers a partire da un riff, uno spunto, un giro di basso, una ri/composizione di improvvisazioni precedenti. Tutto funziona perfettamente, ancor di più che nella prima uscita. La vera grande novità di questa seconda uscita è però costituita dalla presenza della voce femminile di Carla Diratz, autrice anche dei testi, in cinque delle undici composizioni. Prima di prenderne atto, però, c’è da attendere un buon quarto d’ora, quanto durano i primi due (eccellenti) brani della scaletta. Come suggerisce il titolo dell’album, qui tutto si rispecchia, combacia e non è affatto, rendendo percepibile o almeno richiamando un genere, o uno stile, ma lasciando sempre intendere che siamo di fronte ad altro. La voce di Diratz, un po’ strega, un po’ chanteuse sul viale del tramonto, insinua ulteriore smarrimento sin dalle prime battute (nel brano Oncoming Season Wake). Il fraseggio è assai singolare, quasi come se ci mostrasse il suo prender forma, una calibrazione in corso d’opera che si addice perfettamente ai costrutti sonori della band, a loro volta cangianti, in perenne modellamento. Tra gli strumentali si segnala l’iniziale Horizontal Bounce, forte di una sequenza di assoli tra cui spiccano quelli delle chitarre (Delville e Kirk), autentiche rasoiate per fendere la coltre spessa dell’insieme sonoro dentro cui poi tutto precipita. Di spessore anche Day Of The Tsunami, un’improvvisazione collettiva del settetto che collassa progressivamente travolgendo il canto malinconico del flauto di Binet, mentre tra gli altri brani vocali, spicca la conclusiva The Perfume Of The Flying Room, una sontuosa ballata tra le macerie della memoria (dove si stipano alla rinfusa jazz, prog, pop, rock, inclusa la variante RIO), che raccoglie per strada preziosi interventi strumentali ben amministrati dalla regia di Segers, che calibra perfettamente ingressi e uscite di scena. – Fucile, MUSICA JAZZ