ROBERT DICK & ADAM CAINE – The Damn Think

Chant

By taking a quick look at flutist Robert Dick and guitarist Adam Caine’s variegated curricula, one predicts that those experiences will weigh a lot in the improvisational strategies they devise. An inventive diversity is indeed perceivable in the seven episodes of The Damn Think, each being in fact completely different from the others in dynamics, “style” and, sometimes, irony (check out “Short Term Memory”, a veritable parody of who-knows-what for distorted fragmentariness and deranged sprechstimme-cum-flute).

In similar circumstances this writer focuses in particular on issues such as timbral morphology and rhythmic intricacy (of the involuntary kind). There’s a lot to learn from herein, also thanks to the quality of a close recording revealing the micro-nuances of the duo’s weapons. Needless to say, from two skilled instrumentalists we expect nothing less than total control. However, Dick and Caine push the near-perfection of their emissions to a point of extreme flexibility; there’s no sign of sterile virtuosity around, the overall interplay characterized by peculiar twists and turns inside a commendable purity of intents.

Not only that. “Eyes Of The Beholder” comprises quasi-Frithian matters and hidden currents, occasionally merging the voices in a not-exactly-reassuring resonance. Speaking of which, it is interesting to note how the pair never loses grip on that aspect. Even in conditions of severe discordance, the timbres are always rich in upper partials and physically “present”; in a word, wholesome. The ears are gladdened by every signal, whisper, howl, twinkle, twang and growl. “Petrichor” highlights Dick’s command of glissando, achieved via a special instrument that allows unusual pitch bending, whereas the title track greets the auricular membranes with intrusive frequencies and insistent melodic rupturing. It’s the ideal closure for a seriously stimulating album.

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