Recorded in St. Mary’s Old Church, Stoke Newington, London – according to the increasingly spreading habit of performing music that in ancient times would have scared religious people to death in their very homes – Brackish comprises a series of improvisations for flute and double bass, eight tracks segueing as in a single set. The shared quest for a meeting point between entirely different sources generates – perhaps involuntarily – an occasional resemblance of timbral characters, especially when the couple decides to choose the higher registers as the field for instant idioms. Arcoed harmonics, robust plucking, jumpy zigzags and neatly dissonant bird melodies coalesce brilliantly; the largeness of the hosting space is certainly a crucial factor. One can appreciate how the instruments resonate and respire without the need of processing artifices; at the same time, the unpretentious consistency shown by Metcalfe and Brice during the most animated segments (“Swarming” and “Ebb And Flow” being two examples) links parts of the work to the contemporary classic universe. Notes that seem to exist before they’re played, still created on the spot but with a logical sense that is often missing in analogous projects. This sort of sagacious rationality is what ultimately renders the album commendable, despite the lack of flashes and peaks – or “holy” silences – that stimulate overly eager latecomers and “too-tired-for-complicatedness” servants respectively.

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