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På skive

MADE OF BONES

«Handgun»
PHONOGRAM UNIT, PU17CD

The Portuguese power quartet Made of Bones – drummer Duarte Fonseca on drums, guitarist João Clemente, Nuno Santos Dias on the vintage electric keyboard waldorf zarenbourg and double bass player Ricardo Sousa – was formed in 2020 but its members were playing together for over twenty years in various local bands, including Slow is Possible and Cat in a Bag (both released on Clean Feed). The aesthetics of this band defy genre convention and draw inspiration from experimental art rock, noise and free improvisation.

Handgun is already the fourth album of the quartet and its first physical release (the previous releases are available on the band’s Bandcamp page), emphasizing this band’s remarkable perseverance during the Covid-19 pandemic’s challenges.  The album was recorded at Profound Whatever Studio in Pesinho in October 2022. This secluded and tranquil location allowed Made of Bones to experiment and fully explore and express its musical vision, and, obviously, solidify its organic dynamics. Clemente is also responsible for the editing, mixing and mastering of the recording and the design of the suggestive cover artwork, a photo of Marco Freire.

The dynamics of Made of Bones are raw and urgent, energetic and restless, and like Slow is Possible (in which Fonseca, Clemente and Santos Dias played) it owes much to John Zorn’s cut-and-paste compositional strategies. It is clear that Made of Bones enjoys the essence of experiment, adventure and discovery, as all ten pieces were freely improvised. But each piece has its distinct and fresh character., and all enrich the tapestry of sounds that define Handgun. The opening piece, for example, «Usable with One Hand» flirt with chaos and metal; «Effective Range» employs a distorted yet sensual groove; «Matchlocks» floats on psychedelic waves and «Reverse Spring» brings fond memories of the electric bands of Miles Davis.

Eyal Hareuveni

Duarte Fonseca (drums), João Clemente (guitar), Nuno Santos Dias (waldorf zarenbourg), Ricardo Sousa (double bass)

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