Their sound is a timeless contribution to improvised music and a contemporary statement on the state of the world and the direction of music.

Not Applicable: NOT071

Lothar Ohlmerer: bass clarinet; Rudi Fischerlehner: drums; Isambard Khroustalov (Sam Britton): electronics

Recorded 30th April 2022 at Tito’s place, Berlin

Each of these musicians have been busily carving out careers in the world of improvised music (Ohlmerer and Fischerlehner for instance have both played with Jim Black and Ingrid Laubrock, among many others, to give an idea of their jazz chops; and Sam Britton has worked at IRCAM, STEIM, the London Sinfonietta).

Bringing their collective experiences together was always going to produce music that could find links across different musical traditions. In sense what they are doing on this improvised set is working to construct the musical traditions in which they work, identifying the barriers that might exists between these, and then carefully dismantling these. So, as a listener, you can catch hints of the history of electronic music, and of the role of the bass clarinet in avant garde jazz, and drumming in all manner of improvised music. Across these different musical styles and shapes, the music builds and collapses in waves of sound.

The music was recorded in Tito’s Place, which is a former cinema in East Berlin – which provides an additional frisson to my attempts at interpretation: in parts the pieces have a cinematic sweep, in parts they have a sense of paranoia, suspicion, and oppression, in parts they are a joyful exuberance, in parts they have a feeling of uncertainly stepping into completely unknown space. That their music has such a clear, honest, and committed sense of meaning and coherence is down to the ways in which the three musicians, individually and collectively, are so effortlessly able to create and communicate a vision for each of the six pieces. Their sound is a timeless contribution to improvised music and a contemporary statement on the state of the world and the direction of music.

This is their second album and, on hearing it, I immediately sought out their first (‘Hypertide over Kiribati’, released in 2019) and their musical voice (across the two recordings) is consistent (albeit with Britton focussing less on modular synth and more on electronic construction and deconstruction of sound here). Perhaps, on this latest album they are a little more succinct (the pieces run for around 5 to 10 minutes each) but are no less captivating.