The Dutch avant-rock band Blast was founded in the late eighties, first as a quartet, later as a quintet (that once hosted powerhouse sax player John Dikeman), sextet (that hosted vocal artist Saadet Türköz) and now, more than thirty years later it is incarnated as a duo with co-founders guitarist Frank Crijns and sax and vibes player Dirk Bruinsma, both adding midi programming to their arsenal. Bruinsma’s vibes and clever programming of percussion sounds add a considerable volume to Blast’s sonic envelope.
The aptly titled «Vortographs» (a term relating to kaleidoscopic repetitions of forms achieved by photographing objects through a triangular arrangement of three mirrors) is the eighth album of Blast and was released thirteen years after the previous album of this band, «Sift» (ReR MegaCorp, 2008). The dynamics of Crijns and Bruinsma are precise and balanced, economic and tight, complex, labyrinthine and polymetric, with great attention to detail and many sudden shifts, but also with enough room for brief improvisations. The obvious points of reference are King Crimson and Frank Zappa.
«Vortographs» offers only four pieces, two by Crijns and two by Bruinsma. Bruinsma’s «Rope» is the most cinematic one, wandering through fast-shifting, dense and busy urban sceneries. Crijns’ «Tactile Grid» is the most ambitious and complex piece here, constantly shifting and suggesting a spectrum of moods, but relying on a playful rhythmic pattern.
Frank Crijns (el.g, midi prog), Dirk Bruinsma (ss, as, vib, midi prog, perc.prog)