Friday, July 07, 2023

Thermal - Ice In A Hot World [Unsounds 078]

Released via the Dutch experimental outfit Unsounds on March 25th, 2k23 is "Ice In A Hot World", the first album by the trio of John Butcher, Andy Moor and Thomas Lehn operating under the conjunctional alias that is Thermal in 20 years. Now back with a bang the group caters a total of five brand new pieces over a total playtime of 56 minutes, live recorded in Avignon, France in early 2020. Pairing saxophones, guitar and analogue synthesizers we see Thermal getting to work immediately after opening on a fragile, almost tender, atmospheric and somewhat folksy note, breaking up the tentative intro sequence of "Dreams Are Fraying" with off kilter electric guitars, distortions and playful sax rides, followed by uncanny bass movements and atmospheric crackles as a pathway to both shrieking, intense eruptions of improvisational nature as well as minimalist repetitions, episodes of rather classic Jazz and x or SpaceJazz, retrofuturist zaps and bleeps, infernal FreeJazz x FreeImprov madness, eerie and stripped down DarkJazz for horror scores and other well creepy cinematic works of art whereas the concluding title track even seems to summon ghosts from the outerworld in an in situ Improv ritual rolling up towards an unfulfilled climax. Avantgarde as things can get.

Album artwork on Instagram!


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