PER ANDERS NILSSON / STEN SANDELL / RAYMOND STRID – Beam Stone

Psi

“Each sound has its own narrative!” is the original motto of Beam Stone, the trio of Per Anders Nilsson (computer, synthesizer), Sten Sandell (piano, prepared piano, electronics and voice) and Raymond Strid (percussion). Formed in 2006, the group plays intensely through a cycle of electroacoustic prospects that seem to defy whatever logic people might try to relate to the resulting music. It is indeed a type of improvisation that is “viscerally cerebral” and essentially textural, not linked to any kind of universally intended linear or harmonic concept, if not in a futuristically brutal form linking these investigations to the analysis and subsequent decomposition of a defined timbre. According to that, the record offers more than a moment of illumination to those who are growing tired of listening to pre-digested “free formats” typically informed by repeated visits to the extremes of jazz and its derivative ramifications.

Obviously the conspicuous effect of synthesizers, computers and electronics on the listener’s consideration is a primary factor, and one of the most attractive ones. The clouds of gaseous matters elicited in “Peneplain”, for example, are underlined by a constant hum that almost defines the track as a drone piece, despite the presence of divergent noises and other forms of eccentric propagation. The preposterous morsels of detuned rarefaction heard at the beginning of “Luster” blend admirably with the piano in an overall mood of alien anarchy, leading to next-to-incongruous modifications of pitches and chords. The acoustic explorations are handled with the usual cold efficiency by Sandell, an idiosyncratic pianist like few others. He chooses a series of notes, builds entire castles upon their obstinate repetition, bringing the harmonics out and fusing those characteristics with Strid’s individual indeterminacy (although perennially immersed in concreteness). This uncontainable whole is swallowed and regurgitated in triturated protrusions by Nilsson’s computerized setup. Periodically we find ourselves looking at a partial dissolution of common sense; that’s also the exact reason for which this set shines of an absolutely distinctive identity.

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