It frequently happens that a reviewer’s writing is greatly helped – or rendered utterly meaningless, if you will – by liner notes that describe an album’s origin and content in detail. By checking the label’s link above, one realizes that this is exactly the case. What remains to be done in these circumstances is determining the actual necessity of listening to a particular record beyond the inevitable hype. So, the question is: why I decided to write about The Galilean Moons after a week spent, on and off, with it?
Perhaps the answer lies in a word: passion. It is well known that Nemu exclusively features virtuosi in their catalog. No issue whatsoever in regard to technical wizardry, then; there is plenty, under various guises. However, Dick and Schlicht are two veterans who still like to play with the kind of fervency that almost forces a listener, even the casual one, to really take notice of the acoustic events. This feeling is perceivable in the single gestures – an abrupt change, a strange glissando, a chordal outburst – and, especially, in the inconstant dynamics characterizing the interaction. So many resources in terms of skill can easily degrade to the “hyper-technical dud” level. Not here: both artists transfer essential energies to the audience, and this is clearly felt throughout the program.
Considering also the peculiarity of some choices – for example, Dick’s vehement recitation of spam texts in “Dark Matter” – there’s no danger of remaining indifferent: each track introduces a diversity, either one likes it or not. Halfway through composition and improvisation, this pair fluctuates across multiple stages of free-thinking creativity. Most important, they want to be – not just appear.