Music Reviews

Artist: Keisuke Matsuno, Moritz Baumgärtner and Lars Graugaard
Title: Crumble
Format: CD + Download
Label: clang
A guitarist, an e-guitarist and a drummer get together in Berlin and record some raw and lengthy post-jazz workouts in a single day… no, it’s not the beginning of an avantgarde “walked into a bar” joke, it’s the background to “Crumble”. Guitars twang, reverberate and twist over some mostly organic drum sounds and rumbling subbasses and atmospherics. It has a fairly thick echo chamber treatment throughout.

Though relatively short opener “Surfing On Ramen Noodles” kicks off bluntly and at full pelt, things calm down by several notches when we reach “Unspoken”, a relatively sparse bit of guitar plucking over some ambient noises that are hard to place, and which seem willing to take it in turns to arrive, never really getting busy or over-layered. It gets progressively even more spacious, very barren by halfway through that 14 minute piece.

“Industry City” turns back into more chaotic territory, with glitchier cuts and miniscule white noise stabs forming something that’s almost relentlessly cacophonous. Final piece “This Against That” has a more stop-start attitude, bringing forth electronic tapestop-style effects into more distinct peaks and troughs, with an attitude that just begins to border on relaxed and funky, in relative terms. A final drop into much softer, occasional playing gives us a soft landing at the end.

A fairy hard-to-pigeonhole release with elements prog rock, avantgarde jazz, and electronica, “Crumble” is one of those instrumental works that can properly be described as a journey- a weird and at times slightly difficult one, but certainly an interesting trip.

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