VARIABLE GEOMETRY ORCHESTRA – Live At The Casa Da Musica, Porto

Groove House

Only now I finally managed to listen to this, a 33-element orchestra conducted by Ernesto Rodrigues who also handled violin chores in it, performing together with several names that we found on past Creative Sources recordings, plus someone else whose activities I’m not familiar with; the taping occurred in 2007. Given the considerable quantity of instrumentalists and the unevenness of the music flux, you could easily envision Rodrigues having a hard time in controlling things. Still, the overall effect is quite agreeable, sort of Centipede meets Portuguese improvisation with a tendency to extreme blast-outs on the one hand and calmer vistas replete with sliding guitars, slow surges and pre-recorded tapes on the other. In virtue of the difficulty of creating truly memorable matters in such a one-off perspective – not to mention a rather inconspicuous recording quality – the CD is surprisingly good and almost entirely deprived of encumbrances, an appreciable vital pulse maintained throughout a full hour. The secret (maybe): VGO don’t remain too long mumbling and pondering around occasional moods and functional ideas. Their instant organization of the acoustic mutability always appears relatively tight, litheness and fun the keywords most everywhere.

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