Monday, January 07, 2013

Chris Abrahams/Sabine Vogel - Kopfüberwelle (Absinth)

I imagine there's a more idiomatic translation of the disc's title than "headlong wave" but that'll do for now. Pipe organ and flutes--such a sound! "Roadless" wins one over right off the bat, long interlacing tones, the heady reediness of the organ adjacent to the (here) somewhat woody quality of the flute--just gorgeous. Eleven minutes of this long breath, no extra "structure" necessary, just the listener placing him/herself inside a space with these sounds whistling past. More than enough. They don't dwell there, though, moving to a piece filled with small pools of sound, "handwriting"--an additional 11 minutes but in very different space, not so serene as might be thought on first blush, but troubling. And that trouble blossoms into "luftleere raume" (evacuated space), all stridency for the first few minutes, tumbling into silence like an alarm that loses power. Yet another sideways turn ensues, "floating head over" getting a wee bit spacey, nodding to throat-singing techniques (I take it it's Vogel doing something similar on flute) but also, oddly, summoning up memories of Partch's Blo-Boy, with its stepped upon bellows and three organ pipes attached, a lonesome plains feel (not sure how many of those there are in Germany....). "aufauchend" (emerging) recall the second track somewhat but the organ is almost humorous in its puffs, like a softly tooting tugboat, the flute a swallowtail whipping about its stacks; very engaging. Finally, "companions for the river journey" takes things home superbly, with heaving sighs from the organ and flute, end of day breaths, slow exhalations, the odd tootle marking time. Almost an alap, haunting, echoes of Hariprasad. This and the first cut are exceptionally beautiful and everything in between solid as well. A rich, exciting recording, can't wait to hear more.


1 comment:

Simon Reynell said...

Agreed, Brian. This one is unusually lovely. An unexpected but fine combination of instruments. If I had made a top 10 for 2012, this would have featured.