Lothar Ohlmeier / Rudi Fischerlehner / Isambard Khroustaliov, In The Gloaming, Not Applicable ***

Very much a left field avant choice to start the new week of listening to freely improvised electroacoustic sounds from a trio who offer new insights, a world away from any defined genre. Recorded in a former cinema turned recording studio in …

Published: 8 Jan 2024. Updated: 50 days.

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Very much a left field avant choice to start the new week of listening to freely improvised electroacoustic sounds from a trio who offer new insights, a world away from any defined genre. Recorded in a former cinema turned recording studio in East Berlin, the three play things down on opener 'Husks' - you get brittle intersections between the old world solidity of Lothar Ohlmeier’s bass clarinet and the unearthly explorations of Isambard Khroustaliov’s electronics while the role for Rudi Fischerlehner’s drumming is even more painterly, a scuffling, scribbling beat-free domain that the Austrian creates around him. Overall you derive the feeling of three players who are looking at the inner workings of what makes them tick. And their deconstruction of a range of fragile sounds finds an array of mindful outcomes that works on a fundamental level.

Out on 16 February. 'Husks' from the album is streaming

l-r: Lothar Ohlmeier, Isambard Khroustaliov (Sam Britton), Rudi Fischerlehner. Photo: press

Tags: reviews

Kevin Figes, Wallpaper Music II, Pig Records ***1/2

Singer Brigitte Beraha makes her presence felt from the very beginning and certainly if you are a Beraha fan this latest from saxophonist composer Kevin Figes is a fine setting to encounter her once again in. With Figes too once again are …

Published: 7 Jan 2024. Updated: 49 days.

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Singer Brigitte Beraha makes her presence felt from the very beginning and certainly if you are a Beraha fan this latest from saxophonist composer Kevin Figes is a fine setting to encounter her once again in. With Figes too once again are keyboardist Jim Blomfield, bassist Ashley John Long and drummer Mark Whitlam all familiar from the first in this Wallpaper series issued in 2021. The band draws from the artier subset of 1970s jazz-rock as a core to their sound - and 'Blank Out' and 'Walk On' sound like songs that could happily have appeared on a Robert Wyatt album. There is certainly an experimental animus at work (most pronounced on one of the most interesting tracks, 'Shame', later). Not exactly a cheery listen it's true and Blomfield even hints as much in his soloing on the brief 'Sad Piano' track. But there's a non-maudlin contemplativeness at play that keeps you listening. Beraha's best bits are her scatting on 'The Time Has Come,' an adventurousness firmly anchored by Blomfield on Rhodes electric piano and later when she harmonises with Figes on 'Mock Turtle' her ingenuity as an improviser continues to keep us guessing. SG

Out on 23 February. Kevin Figes pictured, top. Dates coming up include St George's in Bristol on 25 February.