LAPSLAP – Zuppa Inglese

Leo

Lapslap’s third release is this writer’s initial approach with their work. For the occasion, the improvising entity was represented by Michael Edwards, Martin Parker, Karin Schistek and Mark Summers. The group stresses the importance of a difficult distinction between acoustic and electronically processed sources, thus revealing a will of bamboozling the audience through varying assortments of gradations and environments. By utilizing Max/MSP they generate slightly deformed versions of discernible structures. Rarely the outcome causes a loss of focus, or a decreasing in the level of gratification.

Maybe the track that better indicates the depth of Lapslap’s research is the final “Soup Delirium”, played on a balanced mixture of computerized glissando, extreme breakup and pianistic sharpness. A potential pandemonium opening up in a series of superb pictures, dramatic unpredictability and tendency to superior echelons of frequency combination giving a measure of alleviation to sympathetic minds, even in presence of severe complexity. An appreciable limitation of the most lustful processing desires is what separates this stuff from the irrelevance of certain laptop-brandishing micronizers. The non-human components never triumph, and – as it happens in “Shield” – an inoffensive weapon like an ocarina can govern the audio scene despite the noises coming by a Nord synthesizer. This piece is immediately followed by another high: “Gletscher”, a solo episode by Schistek. Its mysterious grace – taking advantage of the expert probing of the instrument’s internal zones – speaks for itself. Still, in terms of sheer beauty, the accumulation of luminescence of “Old Liptauer” (viola da gamba, piano and computer) is perhaps unbeatable.

The lone exception to the general merit is “Flatuway”, based on a distorted flugelhorn whose splinters are triggered by an auto-sampling MIDI wind controller. Frankly atrocious. However, that’s the only weak point of an otherwise fascinating album, planned and executed with fully operating brains and finely tuned ears. In the secret place where improvisation and technical possibility convene, hoping to keep the fruits of that furtive meeting private, Lapslap are hidden behind a bush to bottle some of those bizarre essences.

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