The Rotterdam-based Pan-European trio ALBATRE warns that it delivers a kind of punkish-metallic-noisy free jazz that is no jazz for weddings. It is a fair warning and a best kept promise. The trio sophomore release, «Nagual», released two years after the trio debut, «A Descent into Maelstrom» (Shhpuma, 2013), demands a total surrender to an ecstatic and turbulent, at times nightmarish sonic universe, fully knowing that there is no escape from it. The trio features prolific Portuguese bass player Gonçalo Almeida, who plays also with the LAMA trio, Tetterapadequ quartet and Spinifex quintet, fellow countryman, alto sax player Hugo Costa and German drummer Philipp Ernsting.
«Nagual» begins with a massive, repetitive grind that sound as slowed-down adaptation from the lexicon of The Thing «Boot!»-era or early Zu onslaughts, so powerful and aggressive that may tear down skyscrapers. The second piece on the first side of this vinyl only album (plus download option) proves that the trio language is more varied and richer. «00» is experimental dive into a claustrophobic swamp of surreal, abstract textures, fractured pulse and distorted-wailing shrieks that abruptly morphs into rapid, manic onslaught, highlighting the tight interplay of ALBATRE.
The second side of this album feature the three-part piece «El Bicho» (The Bug). On the first part the sax and bass are veiled with thick walls of electronics pierced only by the massive, addictive rhythm of the drums. The second part stresses again the rhythm, this time a rapid grind of the drums amid a chaotic, psychedelic storm of sax wails and repetitive, heavy bass riffs. The last suggests another variation of the rhythm, now dictating a fierce slowed-down doom-metal pulse that intensify the nightmarish-psychedelic storm.
Obviously, weddings and other family ceremonies are ruled out. More likely a soundtrack for demonstrations against the greedy, inhuman neo-capitalist regimes.
Hugo Costa (as, loops), Gonçalo Almeida (b, effects, keys), Philipp Ernsting (dr, elec)