«Metamorphosis» captures the spirit of the fourth album of the LAMA trio. The trio – led by prolific Portuguese double bassist Gonçalo Almeida with fellow-Portuguese trumpeter Susana Santos Silva and Canadian drummer Greg Smith hosts for the second time Belgian clarinet player Joachim Badenhorst, following the expanded LAMA album, «The Elephant’s Journey» (Clean Feed, 2015).
The trio-turned-quartet explores now electro-acoustic territories on Almeida’s three-part suite «Metamorphosis». On this complex 36-minutes suite Almeida adds loops and effects and some keyboards to his bass and Smith’ extends his percussive work with his laptop electronics. This sonic approach of the expanded LAMA shifts from the supposedly clean, acoustic-chamber format into an unsettling, dark soundscapes, full of dirty and distorted, otherworldly sounds. The expanded arsenal of sounds enable all the four musicians to refresh and distill their vocabularies, expanding the acoustic timbres and investigating experimental palette of processed and sampled sounds.
On the first part of the «Metamorphosis» suite Santos Silva and Badenhorst develop slowly the fragile, playful East-European them, sometimes sounding as quoting ideas from John Zorn’s early Masada book, through the nuanced, fractured soundscape of Almeida and Smith. On the second part Santos Silva set the tense and intense atmosphere with her urgent, searching interplay, colored sparsely by Almeida and Smith. Only on the last part the quartet balances between the strong melodic sensibilities of Santos Silva and Badenhorst and the rhythmic inventions of Almeida and Smith.
Badenhorst’s short «Comacina Dreaming» uses the electronic effects and loops to sketch a mysterious cinematic piece. This piece highlights, again, the natural, immediate interplay that Badenhorst – now on the bass clarinet – has solidified with Santos Silva. Smith’s also short «Dark Corner» sound as logical conclusion of Badenhorst piece, but suggests a different equilibrium the ethereal-melodic blows and whispers of Santos Silva and Badenhorst and the weird-sounding, ritualistic pulse of Almeida and Smith.
Joachim Badenhorst (cl, bcl), Susana Santos Silva (tp), Gonçalo Almeida (b, keys, eff, loops), Greg Smith (dr, elec)