Tripticks Tapes

It is possible to form a remarkable artistic partnership with equally outstanding acoustic outcomes without having been lifelong friends. Just prior to starting this set, which was captured live in Brooklyn in August 2021, double bassists Nat Baldwin and Amanda Irarrázabal, from Maine, US and Chile respectively, got to know one another for the first time. After a brief meeting, the two didn’t need to exchange additional pleasantries before getting down to business. What resulted is this limited-edition cassette tape filled with uplifting revelations, issued by Baldwin’s own label (by the way, check out the numerous great things released by this imprint).

Your reviewer, who would not disdain the idea of being buried in a casket composed of extremely low frequencies performed by bows that are sensitive and muscular at once, was already salivating at the thought of a double bass pair. But before that day comes, there is still a lot to hear. The scene of Grips is divided democratically between Baldwin and Irarrázabal. A couple of talented improvisers, they sure have a vast repertory of erratic vibrations and advanced call-and-response stored away in the uncharted areas of their subconscious minds. The language of the instrument is still booming when the inner dimension, assisted by instinct and consideration of the partner’s motions, is able to translate all of this into awkward rhythms, “filthy” yet meaningful drones, and intricate counterpoints that laboriously emerge from a subsoil of infrasonic anarchy. The volcano of sudden creation explodes as the teachings of the past are absorbed. We shall feel sorry for folks who think we are masochists if that multifrequency lava burns our feet, and we appear to like it.

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