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«Abundant Shores

Abundant Shores is the sophomore album of the Viennese quintet Anthropods led by American, Vienna-based drummer-composer Mark Holub (known for the British sextet Led Bib and the Viennese quartet Blueblut), following the self-titled album of the quintet (Discus, 2022).

Anthropods features the same line-up, comprised of some of the most interesting voices in the free scene of Vienna – bass clarinetist Susanna Gartmayer (of the Vegetable Orchestra, Black Burst Sound Generator duo and now defunct  Broken.Heart.Collector), tenor sax player Jakob Gnigler (leader of the Gnigler sextet and member of the P.Y.G. trio), violinist Irene Kepl (who recorded a duo album with Holub, Taschendrache, Slam Productions, 2015. Kepl and Gartmayer guested on the last album of Ked Bib, It’s Morning, RareNoise, 2019), and cellist Clemens Sainitzer (who plays in the septet e c h o boomer). Abundant Shores, like the debut album of Anthropods, was recorded, mixed and mastered by guitarist-producer-sound engineer Chris Janka (of Blueblut).

Abundant Shores is an eight-part suite that emphasizes the close, chamber interplay of this quintet, similar in spirit to the close interplay of Led Bib and realizes more compositional ways in which these five gifted musicians may sound together as a collective. The post-pandemic tours of Anthropods solidified Holub’s ideas of where this band is heading and this understanding led to the creation of «a whole through-composed set, where we could move between composition and improvisation freely».

This concept opens many options for individual, improvised interpretations that often explore different sonic extremes, but make Abundant Shores sound bigger than its parts. The deep, emphatic dynamics of Anthropods allow these shifts in moods and intensity to flow naturally and the suite moves organically between sparse moments of impressionistic soundscapes, folk-like pastoral beauty, fiery and restless free jazz, heavy grooves, and soaring melodies. Slowly, this suite draws you deeper and deeper into its mysterious, nuanced narrative, with its many sonic charms and inventions, and, obviously, its articulate, rich voices, and the unique sound that only Anthropods has.

Eyal Hareuveni

Mark Holub (drums), Clemens Sainitzer (cello), Irene Kepl (violin), Susanna Gartmayer (bass clarinet), Jakob Gnigler (tenor saxophone)