Music Reviews

Artist: Postmarks
Title: National Parks
Format: CD
Label: Monotype (@)
Rated: *****
Guided trips through ruins or a visit to Thor's hammer at sunset point or some paradise in the pines...! That's not the beginning of a raving review, but I'm just quoting some bizarre slogans to advert some U.S. national parks between 30ies and 40ies by drawings and images, which sometimes seems to have been designed by cartoonist, who were fully aware about the importance of images after the Great Depression. This specific branch of advertising poster art, which got unavoidably influenced by rather conservative arts whose "cultural" role was the amalgamation of conservative feelings under the delicate historical period of the New Deal and its external anti-capitalist "turbulences", has been the bizarre inspirational forage for Postmarks, an interesting improv/avant-jazz duo, whose capricious legs - the Chicago-based American pianist D.Bayne and Austrian saxophonist Boris Hauf contrived a way to translate those iconic posters into a style, which sometimes seems to reprise single clauses of old jazz tunes (even if the main jazz icon who comes to mind are mainly Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy) as well as the tuxedoed "feel" of those strange years in-between two world wars. Hauf's saxophone jumps over reminiscent motifs and moody ditties (cult bluesy jazz followers will recognize many topical melodies in tracks like the nice "Hubbell Trading Post at Dawn", "Gila Cliff Dwellings" or the stunning final track "Capitol Reef at Dawn", the one I like more) where Bayne's piano seems to loom over it by strokes, which interchange oppressive, wiry, somber or histerically lightweight moments. Occasional anomalies such as puffs, electric squeaks, almost stressful or ominous tonal stretches, melodic burns by screeched guitar strings and other sonic obliquities pleat the musical stream by turning the listening experience that Postmarks and guitar-experimentalist Martin Siewert (Trapist, Efzeg, The Year Of), who took part to recording sessions in Wien as a precious accomplice, offered somehow adventurous and noir-spotted!

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