ECM's loss is Intakt's gain. Guitarist Marc Ducret is added this time around to the Snakeoil sound, Matt Mitchell as usual hugely significant at the centre of the action in all its tonal conjuring. Oscar Noriega on bass clarinet provides the wildness while Ches Smith is open and needs to be given the loose structures Berne demands from the drummer.
Berne's sound compels close attention. He operates on experimental borders and twists the familiar into the unknowable. That is also the unique strength of Snakeoil and why it remains one of the greatest band of improvisers working anywhere today. You'll need a hundred listens to get anywhere near grasping all the detail. Begin that essential process today. SG
Photo of Tim Berne: Matt Brown