Perusing Blackie’s Dictionary of Quotations, the occasional insomniac’s favourite bedside reading matter, I seemed to land involuntarily on these words of wisdom from enthusiastic painter of high ceilings, one Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, to wit “Genius is eternal patience”. What on earth did the master mean, I whispered to the countless but untalkative sheep not at all intent on slumbering, not that they were supposed to say much back to be fair.
In all probability even with a time travelling helicopter he may or may not have had time to invent in his lunchbreak it is fairly unlikely, granted, that Michelangelo had Of Tides (new on Babel records on 24 March, listen above) in mind. ‘Moss Grew in the Cracks’ does however take forever to unfold but therein likes the flaw, the London bassist Olie Brice and Aachen-born pianist Achim Kaufmann finding far too much time to establish the parameters of their improvising together instead of simply cracking on with it.
Once they have established the mood the humongously long ‘The Rumble of Constant Adjustment’ trowels on plenty of new layers and the pair rummage enthusiastically around, a few oily rags possibly and a bit of paint stripper in hand, as they scythe out a pile of buried dissonances among the thistly patches of tiny silences through all their busy burrowing deep into this particular sonic canvas. There is certainly plenty on offer but it does get a bit samey, Kaufmann, deeply, forebodingly, serious, the mood darkening the longer you listen until ‘To Heap' brightens the outlook every so slightly. But what an exasperating listen. I am still waiting for it all to resolve itself somehow. Can it ever?