ARTIST: eRikm and Akosh S.
LABEL: Ronda Label
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
On the latest release from innovative record company Ronda Label, Paris-based artists eRikm and Akosh S. team up for a session of jazz-influenced improvisational sound manipulation in seven untitled parts. Hungarian-born Akosh S. takes center stage for most of this recording, simply by dint of being the one who plays most of the instruments. Jumping back and forth between clarinet, saxophone, and occasionally more exotic instruments, his melodic riffs range from strident squeals to inquisitive honks to an exotic, almost Mediterranean bleating near the end of the album. Given the free jazz mood of the album, some of his choices are bound to be more exciting than others, and his forays into more folk and tribal territory tend to be less compelling than his avant-garde woodwind and brass work; the kalimba in particular sounds more like filler than a musical necessity. eRikm, for his part, uses turntables and samples to provide a rhythmic underpinning for Akosh S.'s freestyle playing. Using cuts, splices and fades borrowed from hip-hop, he throws in unexpected sounds to make familiar techniques seem spectacularly weird; everyone's heard a DJ pull beats from old jazz, funk and soul records, but hearing someone chopping and scratching classical music is a much more foreign experience, and fascinating for its novelty alone. While the improvisational nature of this album makes it somewhat hit-or-miss in places, it's an impressive display of technique on the part of both musicians. Experimental music fans, especially those who are comfortable with free jazz's ambiguous relationships with structure and melody, are sure to appreciate that.
Visit the Ronda Label website at www.ronda-label.com to learn more about this release.
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