KAJA DRAKSLER / SUSANA SANTOS SILVA – This Love

Clean Feed

The beautiful black and white photo adorning the inside of the CD’s mini-sleeve portrays Santos Silva as if she was observing an ant colony, and Draksler thinking to something that only she knows, with an ironic half-smile. Both women are sitting on the grass in the picture; but there’s no hint of ineffectual staticity or vacuous rumination in This Love, in spite of the pseudo-quietude characterizing various segments. In fact, this is a pleasingly deceptive album, containing chunks of aurally stimulating micro-information. Its bulk reveals a pair of musicians trying to escape from the prison of stereotypes, in search of a common jargon that might not be fully developed yet but sure enough shows encouraging signs for a future without sanctimonious attitudes and worn-out clichés.

Santos Silva’s technical formation on the trumpet – she has been playing it from the age of 7 – is the understructure justifying poetically commonsensical sketches. The notes she emits are incisive, yet perennially gifted with a profound awareness of implied melodies. By using the “extraneous” components of vibration while anatomising her instruments, a rearrangement of many issues concerning the relationship between audible emission and muteness is warranted. Draksler represents a sober counterpart, offering a right balance of contrast and alternative intuitions to the partner’s explorations. The fragmentariness of certain atonal spurts on the piano keyboard – in conjunction with the stratifications of string noise, bowed tones and percussive gestures coming from within the instrument in tracks such as “You Persevere” – constitute an education of sorts for listeners versed in habitual “progressions”. After a few spins the question marks disappear, aural environments and resonating essences equally suggestive in the textural economy. The intimate sincerity of an acoustic meeting and the sweet-and-sour shades of an unusual palette are finely rendered in about forty minutes.

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