The somewhat stable trio composed by the Rodrigueses (as usual, Ernesto on viola and Guilherme on cello) and electronic wizard Santos is joined by percussionist Drury in this recording dated October 2007. The first track “Street Food” begins with an almost silent interchange of plucking, scraping and clicking activities, soon evolving in a growingly powerful amassment of rattles, roars and growls that express a sort of extremely nervous joie de vivre. Initialy, “Good Dog, Cookie” – great title, by the way – privileges slightly perceivable string harmonics caressed by Drury’s bowed tuned instruments and pierced by Santos’ ultrasonic methods. The attractiveness of these intricacies is directly proportional to a degree of politeness, which informs the interplay even in the timbral extremities analyzed by the participants. The subsequent shift to mutable soundscapes characterized by unquiet stasis and involuntary mesmerism appears as a natural development.
“Adamant Distances” features a splendidly evocative juxtaposition of distantly fragile glissandos, a seesaw of perturbed melancholy and profanation of silence sounding like the scattered remnants of an orchestra whose members have been engaging in a battle for survival, this time won by the deepest, not by the smartest individuals. The “minimalist” pattern rising around the fourth minute onwards seems to mock Michael Nyman but is immediately replaced by a cross-pollination of droning arco and irrepressible uproar, the improvisation landing in the unfathomable enthralment generated by the chiselling of unusual tones. “Many Happy Returns” ends the display with a gathering of whispers, murmurs and infinitesimal pecking, forgetting pitch in favour of something more akin to rain drops in a quiet forest, subsequently substituted by handfuls of atomic tremolos and zippy cracklings, the whole secluded in rasping-and-whirring remoteness.
Once again, the art of unrehearsed spontaneity gives birth to a refined object for the merriment of ears that don’t grow tired of listening to musicians who, despite lots of unwarranted criticism (mostly aimed at the appropriation of the market chunk occupied by their releases), are still unafraid of showing what they’re made of, including weaknesses and – above all – strengths.