Danish, Aarhus-based guitarist-bassist-keyboard player Martin Lau’s A Part Apart (En Del I Dele) is an extension of his duo album with drummer Casper Mikkelsen, Ansigtets Lagte Folder (FORTЯOP, 2018). The new album suggests a more detailed, dark and dense atmosphere, contrasting the naked, live-in-studio with no overdubs or editing work mode of the debut album of the duo.
Lau began composing a few solo guitar pieces for A Part Apart, and later played these pieces with Mikkelsen (who plays in the local Afro-jazz band The KutiMangoes) in the studio. Then Lau deleted the guitar parts from the recordings and used the drum roles as the basis for layers of improvised acoustic and electric guitars, bass and keyboard parts. This unconventional process left a «shadow form» that informs and underlines the structure of the ten short pieces but is not implied in terms of melody or harmony.
The atmosphere of A Part Apart is indeed mysterious and elusive. Furthermore, the sparse, improvised and intuitive nature of Lau and Mikkelsen’s playing intensifies the cinematic sense of going through vast and abstract sonic spaces. The refined and thoughtful music corresponds with close and far folk traditions but rarely surrenders to familiar ones.
Martin Lau (guitars, bass, keyboards), Casper Mikkelsen (drums)