Al Maslakh

Mike Cooper: electro-acoustic guitar, Kaoss Pad, Zoom sampletrack, Boss pitch shifter; Chris Abrahams: piano, organ, electric piano

Three long improvisations showing no sign of adiposity, recorded in 2009 to appear over four years later. Materials oscillating between moderate discordance and enlarged minimal structures with singular refractions, recyclable imperfections, and a modicum of laissez-faire.

In each track – please treat this as a wholly private fantasy – there seems to be a concealed homage to a modern-day icon among the mesmerizing traits of the interplay and the more convoluted configurations. “Trace 1” stands for a veritable raga, Abrahams’ organ staying on a stabilized chord as Cooper slides on the strings with tasty equanimity. But when the loops and the transpositions predominate in the mix, things begin to move in asymmetrical circles and scents of Terry Riley (circa A Rainbow In Curved Air) come forth to maintain their influence until the end. “Trace 2” finds Abrahams on the regular piano, wisely employing sparse touches of Tilbury-esque lineage in parallel with Cooper’s “noisier” contributions under the shape of clattery events, buzzing tones and abnormal geometries. The “disturbed chiming” quality of “Trace 3” is less associable with “names”, although one could make a case for imagining a colder variant of Brian Eno smiling wryly as rather polite glimmering protuberances advance without actual resolution, Cooper tampering in the background. Think of a somewhat sinister installation displacing unsuspecting audiences ready to be cuddled by the customary aural inoffensiveness of similar contexts.

Overall, this record builds gradual certainties upon beautifully sounding constitutional fragilities, establishing a quiet authority by affirming its nuances in a cross of vulnerability and sympathetic resonances. Keep it on for a while and observe how the acoustic fermentation works. You’re going to want to dig deeper as the time elapses, bringing significant new details to light.

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