The occasion of Kevin Drumm returning to London to hook up with Graham Lescalleet for a show St John’s in Hackney last night prompted me to dig out this monster of a collaboration, recorded in Brussels in 2011 but released earlier this year on Potlach, to luxuriate in its enveloping universe. Putting three artists with such distinct aesthetic approaches together could have resulted in a disjointed mess but, fortunately for us, a shared sense of purpose yields strong rewards. Drumm’s electronics are relatively restrained – insistent, gassy hisses, metallic patters and the odd feedback whine – but together with Mafatti’s breathy trombone swooshes and Capece’s deep bass clarinet throbs, it all gels in a pretty satisfying fashion. Contributions from each player unfold slowly and deliberately across 40 minutes, looming out like huge submarines cruising through the silent depths, although the vibe is anything but malevolent. Instead the long swathes of sound float out across, above and underneath each other in planar arcs, never quite locking together but, somehow, always appropriate for the particular moment in time and space in which we encounter them. It’s sculptural and spatial, delicacy balanced with heft. An Alexander Calder mobile reimagined by Richard Serra.
As an adjunct to these brief thoughts, Capece offers some insight into the recording with a recent post on Facebook: “I find that this release offers a music that is not at all as dry minimalist as it could be expected, but all the contrary. To me sounds warm, and based in togetherness, even very musical in a more simple or traditional way. Not intending to be ground-breaking or offering a minimalist statement…”