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Keeping it brief this week - a Beckettian interlude and digging the latest from Tarbaby

Published: 25 Jul 2022. Updated: 16 days.

Keeping it brief this week - a Beckettian interlude and digging the latest from Tarbaby

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Apophenia, Prötzeler ****

Gnomes ''r'' us Style wise this is what we hear as early Bley Hilcrest club era Ornette Coleman verging on different New Cool School stylings (meaning contemporary sounds inspired by for instance Lee Konitz) especially on tracks such as …

Published: 25 Jul 2022. Updated: 16 days.

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Gnomes ''r'' us

Style wise this is what we hear as early Bley Hilcrest club era Ornette Coleman verging on different New Cool School stylings (meaning contemporary sounds inspired by for instance Lee Konitz) especially on tracks such as 'Pseudo experiência incrivelmente profunda' ('Incredibly Deep Pseudo Experience'). Moving more to the present form a small queue Led Bib fans perhaps too.

The irony isn't lost on us if you reject all the above in making such a comparison given that the psychological term apophenia can mean citing Merriam Webster ''the tendency to perceive a connection or meaningful pattern between unrelated or random things (such as objects or ideas)''.

Let's not conflate the metaphorical with the literal just for a change! It's only a band name after all. But a very good one nonetheless.

A piano-less quartet from Portugal with two altoists a double bassist and a drummer João Gato, Bernardo Tinoco, Zé Almeida and Samuel Dias - sonics aren't brilliant but that as always isn't the most important quality and while the bass is murkily captured on a few tracks this isn't about sonics-shaming especially because we are listening in a heavily compressed digital version.

What is more important is originality and I think within the idiom these guys are the business. The writing is absorbing and there is plenty of puckish spirit. It's fun to put some of the titles into Google Translate for instance the one with audience noise at the beginning recorded in Berlin is rendered 'Frenzy from a gnome's point of view'. No, me neither. But it has more of a ring to it than the more prosaic 'Statement #1'. The deep down sounds come through better on this 'Gnome' returning to bass matters more positively.

But as ever words in themselves - and yes I'm aware it's like a turkey voting for Christmas - never really matter when writing about music. Although and this is the point reached by them opinions and listening choices do. If we could write about music in non-words and people could somehow understand that would be even more interesting - huh. But anyway the dancing in the dark as ever is what it is. Choose what Apophenia have achieved on an excellent release from these relative unknowns. SG

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