Barcelona-based trumpeter Pablo Volt aka Pope comes from a musical family but began to play the trumpet only when he was 18 years old. He has been active in the local scene and played with local dub, reggae and punk outfits. «Unintentional Noir» was recorded by Discordian’s label head and musical polymath El Pricto (aka Andrés Rojas) at the local at the Golden Apple studio in September 2021 and is rooted in the free music sphere of this label. The label frames this album as «dark ambient jazz».
The music on «Unintentional Noir» is free improvised and credited to the quartet of Volt, who is clearly the leader of this session, guitarist Luciano Bagnasco (who also did the cover art), double bass player Àlex Reviriego and drummer Enric Ponsa. This quartet sounds like a working band with a strong identity and immediate affinity between its musicians.
«Unintentional Noir» offers eight distinct pieces with suggestive, story-like titles, connected like a long suite. The opening pieces «The Shrinking Hitman» and «A Dangerous Look» suggests clever weaving of imaginative sonic searches with lyrical and cinematic textures, highlighting the unique, singing-whispering voice of Volt that often brings to mind the voice of Norwegian trumpeter Arve Henriksen as well as extended breathing techniques. The following pieces cement the dark and nuanced cinematic veins but also stress the urgent, sensual tension that this quartet builds and releases, and the balanced yet totally free dynamics of this quartet. You can hear echoes of dub music «Shoot At The Moon» and the sparse but refined, dramatic electro-acoustic palette of the quartet on «Slide Into Darkness». The quartet ends its arresting journey with an elusive conclusion «Gone Missing», without resorting to a familiar dramatic climax, but with a beautiful meditation.
A promising debut album of this quartet. Would love to listen to more of Volt and his comrades.
Pablo Volt «Pope (tp), Luciano Bagnasco (el.g), Àlex Reviriego (b), Enric Ponsa (dr)