Arrington de Dionyso: bass clarinet; Thollem Mcdonas: piano
A concoction of vehement agitation and overwhelming transfixion permeates the bulk of these duets. De Dionyso’s bass clarinet growls, fumes and hollers, looking for fragments of lyricism that are almost never found – which is better. For the large part, Mcdonas leaves aside his acknowledged digital hyper-articulation in favour of insistent multicolored chordal patterns complementing the comrade’s tortuous flights, generating phosphorescent halos of resonance in the meantime. None of the players shows a propensity to the monopolization of the mix, the instruments coalescing convincingly most everywhere. Despite the exaggerated brawniness – call it violence – of some of the exchanges, the standard atmosphere remains one of knuckle-down mission, hunting for an incorporeal quantity disguised between the air’s molecules. The crowning track “Birth Magic And Rot” is a lengthy “bonus remix” (sic), the timbres retailored and elasticized by the processing job. We always know what to expect from such accomplished performers, yet the animation gathered through the act of listening to this record is astonishingly graphic. Primal and cultured at once, this music quivers of life from beginning to end.