«Beats» is the third album of the Berlin-based trio of vibes player Christopher Dell, drummer Christian Lillinger and double bass player Jonas Westergaard (DLW), and continues its research into the basic, minimal elements of musical structures. This precise and methodical sonic research began with «Grammar» (gligg, 2013) and continued with «Grammar II» (Plaist, 2019), but on «Beats», it operates in reverse order. «Beats» «fragments a larger superstructure into minimal entities that are then worked through in processes of iteration and reconfiguration», explains Dell. And Lillinger adds: «our aim was to highlight our structural research through beats within notated bars from different angles».
DLW references two distinct sources of inspiration, who were incorporated into DLW’s grammar in this study of beats – Anton Webern’s «Sechs Bagatellen für Streichquartett (Six Bagatelles For String Quartet)» and Pierre Boulez’ «Le Marteau Sans Maître». In this sonic study, DLW offers its different perspectives on beats. Dell composed the 13 short pieces, all titled and numbered as «Configuration», but DLW plays, constructs and reconstructs its ideas in complex, rough and morphed multidimensional grid beats. «Beats» was recorded in one flow, in a single room and in close proximity of DLW to each other. Later, «Beats» was edited as a «cut-up» with a harsh separation between each track, in order to be experienced as independent pieces.
The sound of DLW is massive and punchy, almost machine-like, relentless and uncompromising. DLW’s beats are reinterpreted and stretched as loops that become multi-dimensional, tangible and almost hyper-realistic. As in former studies of this resourceful and irreverent trio you may feel that this cerebral study already altered your perception of time and space. This time you may feel close to electronic dance music, possibly high-brow club music of the future.
Christopher Dell (vib), Christian Lillinger (dr), Jonas Westergaard (b)