BASSX3 – Transatlantic


The trio’s name derives from the fact that all the members, in a way or another, play a “bass” instrument. Bass clarinet and bass flute (Gebhard Ullmann), double bass and objects (both Chris Dahlgren and Clayton Thomas). Lowering the outstanding profundity of the collective textural palette to a mere “exploration of the low regions of the acoustic range” definition would be a deadly sin, for Bx3 are one of those units able to instantly elicit a sense of genuine awe. Furthermore, I love when a record transmits an absence of ego ever since its very first instants, which is exactly what happens in Transatlantic. The riveting qualities of coarse-grained drones given out by competent musicians is alone a generous gift, but refined subtleties and bitty variations also abound over the course of these magnificent tracks. The preparations have a definite say – minute string-bouncing, zinging-and-knocking insertions and meticulous placement of well-coordinated “musical noises” frequently orientate the interplay towards the realm of quietly efficient EAI. However, a strong backbone characterizes every instant of the disc: no whistling, no fizzing, no burbling. Tones and upper partials exist and breathe, each with its own special meaning. Their consolidation gives the idea of an earthy progression achieved through a mix of concentrated labour and sensitive reaction to the immediate circumstances. Reciprocal listening and utter ear-openness become nearly tactile when the whole is sized up via headphones. This notwithstanding, we’re not going to deny that the really stirring consequences will be savoured by letting it resonate, thus increasing the vibrational percentage in the air.

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