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ILIA, KONSTANTIN & ME

«Cephas Unisons»
LAOBAN RECORDS, LB 05

«Cephas Unisons» is the debut album of a new Norwegian-Russian working trio, released by a Malaysian label. The Russian side features long-time comrades of the St. Petersburg experimental scene – alto sax player Ilia Belorukov and drummer Konstantin Samolovov. Both of them have been playing together in recent years in different outfits and formats, including in a trio with Portuguese guitar hero Luís Lopes). The Norwegian – the Me in the trio name – is double bass player Christian Meaas Svendsen, and «Cephas Unisons»is his first out of two albums for the Malaysian LaoBan label (the second one was released recently, «Happy to be Here», his second recording with Malaysian sax player Yong Yandsen, in a trio with drummer Darren Moore).

This trio was recorded live at Vinylla Sky Bar and Cement Factory Studio in St. Petersburg in Marc 2018. The first two pieces, «Colonial Drive» and «The Day We Parted Ways» gel quickly into dense and explosive, free jazz improvisation, soon after brief introductions that explore extended breathing and bowing techniques of Belorukov and Meaas Svendsen. Samolovov’s inventive usage of radio sounds, chaotic drumming on “selected drums” and objects sets the raw and intense «Colonial Drive» apart, and the bowing work and overtone vocals of Meaas Svendsen together with the circular breathing of Belorukov and the eerie radio sounds of Samolovov are at the center of «The Day We Parted Ways».

«Celestial Dreams» is the most compelling piece here. The trio experiments with a minimalist and reserved mode and creates a mysterious, haunting soundscape. The last piece «Sacred Deer» relies on the quiet, organic interplay of the previous piece and patiently and methodically builds its powerful interplay.

Eyal Hareuveni 

Ilia Belorukov (as), Konstantin Samolovov (dr, obj, radio, voice rec), Christian Meaas Svendsen (b, v) 

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