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«Rune Kitchen»

American double bass improviser Damon Smith (who also runs the Balance Point Acoustics label) has established long-term collaborative relationships with two veteran masters of free improvisation – Dutch vocal artist Jaap Blonk, with whom he interpreted the poems of the founder of the Dada movement, Hugo Ball (Hugo Ball: Sechs Laut-Und Klanggedichte, 1916 [Six Sound Poems, 1916] (Balance Point Acoustics, 2014), and American drummer Ra Kalam Bob Moses, with whom he recorded three albums, the latest a duo, Purecircle (Balance Point Acoustics, 2022).

Rune Kitchen brings Blonk and Moses for a first, recorded meeting at Birdcloud Studios in  Collinsvile, Illinois, in November 2022, just after Smith finished a long tour with Blonk and began a new tour with Moses. This inspired match worked well and Blonk and Moses wrote a concrete Dada poem as their «liner notes» (…Bugala google a hell of Chihuahua humano Snuka…”). This is also the first album that features Smith’s artwork (and Smith is a passionate arts aficionado), a mirco-collages from 2003 or 2004 reproduced in actual size.

The atmosphere in this session is relaxed but restless, conversational yet eccentric, and blends three distinct, inventive and highly personal approaches to free improvisations. Blonk flies high with his Dadaist pathos, a gibberish train of speeches and child-like games with electronics; Smith pushes the music to more abstract, farthest terrains of improvised music, and often employs extended bowing techniques; and Moses suggests driving, polyrhythmic patterns that ground the commotion and sometimes even anchor the last piece «Sabaka Tillamook» (Moses texted all the pieces titles to Smith) with a seductive swing. This trio is democratic and allows Blonk, Smith and Moses to trade leading roles and voice subversive ideas. Somehow, it makes sense and sounds like these gifted and experienced improvisers had tons of fun and this feeling is infectious.

Eyal Hareuveni

 Jaap Blonk (v, elec), Damon Smith (b), Ra Kalam Bob Moses (dr, perc)


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