Belgian young guitarist Frederik Leroux and veteran percussionist Kris Vanderstaeten, one of the underrated heroes of local free-improv scene since the eighties, have held since 2014 a bi-weekly improvisation sessions in the quiet, spacious village of Zichem. These leisured sessions have led to the recording of their duo album «zonder webben» (translated roughly as: without safety nets).
This album distills Leroux and Vanderstraeten experimental tendency to seven short improvisations with distinct, spacious and unstrained atmospheres, stressed by the artwork of painter Bart De Clerq. These improvisations develop organically and patiently. The seven pieces often sound like a spontaneous, playful chat between close and modest friends who share a similar sense of bitter humor, do not take themselves too seriously and enjoy experimenting with sounds, dynamics and forms.
Vanderstaeten creates an impressive palette of percussive sounds, some are produced from amplified objects and toys. These sounds are made with no attempt to offer a fixed pulse or any rhythmic pattern, just to trigger an interesting response from Leroux. Slowly, the abstract ideas of Leroux and Vanderstraeten shift into a more structured conversation, still, a loose and non-hierarchical one. But already on the third piece th «het schuim op de golven» both suggest a minimalist yet seductive, cinematic soundscape. The following pieces follow this delicate, ethereal vein. The last piece, the atmospheric «liever lag» is the best realized one, mysterious but playful and with an experimental edge.
Frederik Leroux (prep. el.g); Kris Vanderstraeten (perc, dr, horizontal el.g, objects, small hunting horn).