KURUWASAN – Kuruwasan

Quintoquarto

Utilizing a plentiful array of regular and exotic instruments, Pak Yan Lau, João Lobo, Grégoire Tirtiaux and Daysuke Takaoka are four improvisers who – gathering under the Kuruwasan moniker – produce music that appears rather uncertain in regard to a path to follow. The tendency to noir-ish drama heard in the opening “Schröder” is disturbed by harsh percussion, whereas in “Pão De Leite” we observe the (by now inevitable) air currents within the reeds’ conduits in a half-esoteric, half-hallucinating trip that ultimately results as quite insignificant, with the aggravation of unfitting melodic fragments. The self-explanatory “Traffic Jam” sees the prevalence of a flute over the initial chaos; drums enter subsequently, more off-putting than supportive. “Éclaire” tries to shift the focus on a “simplified Henry Cow” kind of impression, and the conclusive (and overly lengthy) “Trilogy” feeds on episodic attention-grabbing details – among them, the adjacency of odd metres, compulsive tuba riffs and electronics.

The large part of this album, despite the musicians’ obvious curiosity and good will, sounds tentative and lacking actual depth. Too often the timbres appear superimposed without a genuine coordination. Lots of stylistic approaches end up in not gelling together, the prevailing feel one of disjointed constituents that exist in a definite moment but won’t survive the test of long-term memory. An exhibition of mostly unsuccessful attempts with rare moments of interest and remote hints to an uninvolving ritualism. Not enough to snatch the record from the choking embrace of non-excitement.

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