LULL – The Zipper

Leo

This CD from 2009 documents the reunion of Lull, a quartet born eight years before that had come apart after less than half a decade of activity due to not better specified “daily life differences”. Were they fighting? Were the individual existences pushing each member towards alternative paths? We’ll never know, and really don’t want to. The instrumentation features alto sax and clarinet (Tanja Feichtmair), piano and electronics (Josef Novotny), cello (Uli Winter) and drums (Fredi Pröll). The music contained by The Zipper is quite animated, sporadically travelling across the realms of free-jazz (“Stide The Stroke”, “The Tittle-Tattle”) but more often comparable to a circumspect display of dissimilar acoustic data offered on the spot, several impenetrable moments of defensive quasi-silence broken by nervous contrapuntal spurts or fragments of deceivingly quiet melodic matters. The recording quality possesses a natural reverberation that wraps the whole performance, attributing to the sound a “collective” aura that tends to blend the foursome’s personalities in a somewhat problematic unity , thus excluding the excessive predominance of single colours (though Feichtmair and Winter are the protagonists of absorbing dialogues with the rest of the group during the title track’s restrained unfolding). My preferred spots are those when the improvisational insight is articulated with dissonant lucidity in chamber ensemble-like concentration (“Subversive Activities”): there, Lull reveal all the cards at their disposal without scattering the energies, conveying peculiar moods and idealistic statements with outspoken cleverness, in absolute disrespect of stylistic definitions. A rather thorny bush of a record with a few flowers clearly visible.

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