Originally a cassette label (est. 2014) Small Scale Music is now taking a temporary break from releasing music after a sudden move from the city to a wood shed in the countryside. Now jobless and with lots of time on my hands I am now offering my ears and pen to write on peculiar music from all around the world. If interested in a review, a feature or a postcard please send mail to:
Small Scale Music
99 Chemin Schweizer
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Lure is the recorded meeting of the Australian collective Psithurism Trio (Richard Johnson, Rhys Buttler and John Porter) with French clarinettiste étoile Xavier Charles. This one time only performance was arranged exclusively for the 2017 edition of the Australian improvised music festival SoundOut. The reunion of these four bonafide woodwind players could have also announced, if we were to believe the cover picture and the song titles, the dawning of a new group of mycophiles.
I guess everybody was feeling the power of the mycelium on that particular date because what this quartet is seamlessly sporing is nothing short of astounding
From a welter of spits, blasts, puffs, squeaks and throbs emerge two beautiful fruiting bodies. Panus Lecomtei and Mycena Interrupta exhibit the full range (and/or amazing restraint) of the quartet. No showboating to be found here, as each player uses his own rich vocabulary to good use, always vividly reacting to each others idiosyncratic expirations with an impressive attention to space and orchestration. If I was a smurf those two mushrooms are where I would want to live.
Aebus Albopictus has the trio working with swarms of slaps, whistles, and rhythmical murmurs, without Charles and with considerably less tension. A patient and compelling piece of organic music where the group seems to be evolving on known soil.
Charles ends this successful encounter as a lone fungus with some focused solo works (Multicellular and Ameboid) full of circular breathing, rustling overtones and a generous variety of his signature growls.
A recommended listen dressed with a side of grilled portobello mushrooms (or psilocybe according to your taste)!
Just like you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince, you have to listen to a lot of recent solo improvised saxophone albums to find one that is this exciting. This is way more than just another where-the-hell-is-that-rhythm-section-to-back-those-boring-changes or the average one trick-pony-circular-breathing-until-death-comes solo sax album.
Working with the rich register of the tenor saxophone, Danish improvising saxophone player Henrik Pultz Melbye stretches his instrument far into the wild through some surprising timbral and percussive herpetologic explorations.
From beautiful screeching overtonal serenades to over-blown growls, the improviser makes the salientian species go wild! The playing oozes so much grit and gusto that it made me wonder if the saxophone player would blow up like a toad smoking a cigar.
After listening to these concise, eloquent and fierce pieces, you might be tempted to bring a boombox by the creek next time you plan on getting high licking a toad. If for any reasons the lick does not bring you the full-body rush and powerful hallucinations you’re looking for, this tape surely will (plus that way the frogs can also party with you !).