Andrė Pabarčiūtė is a singer from Lithuania whose style is somewhat evocative of Julie Tippetts with clear East-European accents. But it is her dramatic vocal agility which results especially valuable over dealings with instruments that may run parallel to – or slightly contradict – instant visions and melodic allusions during a specific performance. At times she lets a modicum of elegant irony slip out, sparingly and, in any case, complementarily in regard to the “transcendental” characteristics of the improvisational tendencies. Mark Tokar plays double bass with concentrated absorption and utter openness to the act’s contingent events, showing an unwavering focus from which the will of enclosing devotion and wisdom in a single entity transpires. Percussionist Klaus Kugel employs the resonant properties of his arsenal to add an essential third dimension to the multi-layered textures generated by the trio, being also the element who better highlights the nearly ritual aspects of the interplay. From him and Tokar arrive several stern warnings under the shape of threateningly remarkable frequencies, utilized by Pabarčiūtė as a means to investigate the contrasts occurring through the different expressive ranges. Varpai – born in a church in Osberghausen, Germany – is a substantial album made with relatively recognizable constituents spiced with parsimony and good taste, exploiting the long reverberations and large spaces of the recording site with appreciable poise. This kind of artistic soberness should be a prototype to emulate for many hyped-yet-vacuous productions of our time.

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