Twofer Tuesday: Dans les arbres and Miguel Flores

Dans les arbres | Volatil

Volatile may refer to this single track album’s recording situation – live, a first for Dans les arbres.  The prolifically touring quartet offers a recording set of fifty three minutes and change.  Though the structured improv is airy, spacious and largely sparse, there isn’t a dull moment.  Right away the listener must attempt a cognition of what just made that tree frog chirp noise?  The esoteric turbulence clamoring onward has an inscrutable dynamic that necessitates a suspension of disbelief.  

Charles (clarinet), Grydeland (guitar), Wallumrød (piano) and Zach (percussion) complement each other with such fluidity and tension that the listener has to deconstruct their own biases when absorbing what is playing out before them.  One may feel set about the forest (as the group’s English translation, ‘In the trees’ suggests).  The vague use of pauses (for instance around minute fifteen) and mood shifts (at thirty-four mins.) generates a convoluted drama.  The plot however is as cabalistic as the reinterpreted instrumentation.  Certainly there is upheaval.  There is a nod to slanted space-jazz.  A linear circumvolution revealing that which, as a whole, serves a flexion for the audience – an exercise in experiential auditory chimera.

Miguel Flores | Lorca – Lost Tapes (1989-1991)
Buh Records (LP/DL)

The first two of Miguel FloresLost Tapes feature the album’s definitive acoustic guitar and experimental electronics.  This initial pair of previously unpublished recordings usher listeners into the magical realism of their inspiration: Federico García Lorca’s stage.  The source tape turned digital in lush translation [I can only imagine the mystique of these recordings on vinyl!], palpable is the material in these recordings!  The melody reciprocates in I between Andean-style guitar work and piano.  II has a mellow-dramatic Area 51 meets old-western essence.  Wailing frequencies soar over a methodical finger-plucking.  

Charming synthesized horns supplant the guitar in the third track.  It only gets weirder in the fourth track where psychedelic vocals sound somewhat like throat singing yet bearing a semblance of buzzing flies that mingle with various latin percussions, flute phrases, even the occasional whistle.  V – a rhythmic interlude of sorts – gives way to the grisly VI.  Tape VII has the effect of transporting the listener to a first-wave computer room.  The analogue computing machines click away in mechanized lunacy.  A romantic gesture of the acoustic guitar returns in the final VIII.  

Both of the above albums release on the 18th October, 2019.

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