Saturday, February 22, 2020

Arrias / Davies / Ullen - Crystalline [Ausculto Fonogram 005]

Set to be released via the relatively fresh imprint Ausculto Fonogram on March 3rd, 2k20 is "Crystalline", the first ever full on collaboration album recorded and composed by Lisa Ullen, Johan Arrias and Angharad Davies. Whilst the two first mentioned artists had explored sonic realms as a duo occasionally before it is a firstling for the full set of three, with each of them taking on a role as both composer and musician within the six tracks rolled out over the course of 31 minutes. Opening with "Undercurrent", possibly the albums main piece, the trio reaches out into the realms of Score Noir and Jazz Noir, providing meandering and masterly executed lengthy improvisations on top of thundering minor scale piano chords before progressing into eerie, yearning high frequency siren songs of sorts which are seemingly making a tender return in the subsequent "Rydal Mount", this time accompanied by precisely hammered, yet friendly and playful piano lines as well as plucked violin strings The following double feature of "Rituals B" and "Rituals A" oozes off melancholia as well as a certain weltschmerz, "Etude" lives up to its name in terms of providing a call and response interplay between low and high pitch piano notes in front of a trepidant, super fragile backdrop of ambient'ish nature whilst the final cut "Coda" is harking back to inward looking Jazz / Folk Noir for about 150 seconds of caressing goodbyes. An interesting journey between many worlds, this.


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