TOCA LOCA – Shed

Henceforth

Contrarily to any lackadaisical intuition, Toca Loca are not a salsa group but a trio specialized in contemporary materials, its members responding to the names of Simon Docking (piano), Aiyung Huang (percussion) and Gregory Oh (piano, conduction). The repertoire they decided to tackle for Shed comprises the work of a quartet of composers, the lone resounding fame in this house’s memory being that of Frederic Rzewski, whose evocative “Bring Them Home!” – the reworking of an anti-war Irish song of the 17th century – acts as the program’s conclusive statement. The depressingly imperishable unawareness characterizing my life as a music scrutinizer is once again highlighted by the pleasant surprises caused by the other pieces. Dai Fujikura’s “Half-Remembered City” is a four-hand pianistic venture replete with erratic dynamics, complex digital terminologies and sporadic hints to pregnant silence. Andrew Staniland’s “Adventure Music: Love Her Madly” features additional instruments (clarinet, cello, French horn and flute) to stand as the disc’s potential highlight in its cross of regulated instrumental disjointedness and erudite stylistic plurality, whereas Heinz Holliger’s “Ma’Mounia” introduces a balanced coalescence of ritualistic echoes and percussive incidents underlining Huang’s mastery of her trade. Generally speaking, we’re in front of top rank musicianship revealing the threesome’s unprejudiced will of opening the doors to unusual-yet-familiar indications and proposals from still unsung creditable entities. The full hour elapses without trouble, contributing to increase the level of concentration and respect that should always be perceived in every reviewer’s attitude towards a new record. Translation: these people force you to sit and listen.

Posted in Uncategorized