mon 18/11/2019

CD: Dale Cooper Quartet & the Dictaphones + (((witxes))) – Split | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Dale Cooper Quartet & the Dictaphones + (((witxes))) – Split

CD: Dale Cooper Quartet & the Dictaphones + (((witxes))) – Split

Gallic improv merchants get heavy with each other’s compositions

'Split': not the stop-gap release it could be for either contributor

Over its 20 minutes, "Le Strategie Saint-Frusquin" colours its dark, funeral declaration with the insistent rhythm of an elephant dragging itself from a tar pit, textures from distorted guitar and saxophone, and occasional interjections of a voice sounding as though it’s beaming down from an early Apollo mission. "Pisces Analogue" is similarly lengthy and as engaging. Involving washes of pulsing electronics, it passes through five movements, each more intense than the previous. After a pause for quiet reflection at 12 minutes, it climaxes with a sky-scraping crescendo evoking a departure from the stratosphere.

Split is a joint album where each contributor interprets a composition by the other: Dale Cooper Quartet & the Dictaphones’ "Le Strategie Saint-Frusquin” was originally by (((witxes))) and recorded under the title “The Apparel”; "Pisces Analogue" by (((witxes))) draws from Dale Cooper Quartet & the Dictaphones’ “Nourrain Quinquet”.

Both French, Dale Cooper Quartet & the Dictaphones (Gael Loison, Yannick Martin and Christophe Mevel with guests brought in as necessary) and (((witxes)) (Lyon’s Maxime Vavasseur) have more in common here with post-rock adventurers Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Tortoise than what’s pigeonholed as jazz. Nonetheless, Cooper and co are jazz improvisers while (((witxes)) takes the spirit of improv to an acoustic-infused electronica.

Although the challenging Split is more about atmosphere than melody and musical chops, it is assured and does not feel like the stop-gap release it could be for either contributor. In recasting the music of the other, Dale Cooper Quartet & the Dictaphones and (((witxes))) have fashioned a music which unsettles as much as it is absorbs.

'Split' is more about atmosphere than melody and musical chops


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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