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På skive



The European aspect of the music business globalization led in recent years to the release of more and more Scandinavian albums by Portuguese labels, mainly Clean Feed but also Creative Sources, and to the focus of a Polish label, Multikulti, on Spanish and Catalan musicians, among them sax player Albert Cirera, and ensemble Memoria Uno led by trumpeter Iván González. The Barcelona-based trio Phicus, featuring electric guitarist Ferran Fages, double bass player Àlex Reviriego and drummer-percussionist Vasco Trilla, is another group that enjoys this phenomena.

Phicus does not attempt to be a power trio. Phicus declares that it speculates with silence and noise, attempting to rearrange the timbral spectrum of the electric guitar, double bass and the drum set and «scrap the tradition to explore their very own harmonic universe forged of the energy of a blazing forest into flame». Phicus is also a democratic trio with no leader and polished its interplay through intense rehearsal schedule before recording its debut album, «Plom», on November 2016 . It grew out from a close work of Fages and Reviriego together, but Reviriego and Trilla have collaborated too in another group, the local Völga quartet.

The seven free-improvised pieces, all titled after the elements Clor, Plom and Crom, are based on a close and deep listening interplay and suggest fragmented textures-tone poems that shift between loose but noisy ones to sparse and chaotic ones, sometimes even quiet and almost transparent ones. Theses pieces gravitate organically, on their own accord, towards their emotional core, but avoiding any ecstatic climaxes. The longest piece «Crom 1» realizes best Phicus sonic vision. It is meditative, minimalist soundscape that owes much to the pioneer work of the British free-improv ensemble AMM and offers a sonic unity where the metallic sounds of the electric guitar blend gently with the bowing of the double bass strings and the subtle touches of objects, skins and cymbals. Other pieces like «Plom 1» and «Plom 2» highlight the opposite side of Phicus, its fascination with the work of another sonic sculptor, Japanese guitarist Keiji Haino. These pieces focus on rippling, buzzing waves of electric noises.

Eyal Hareuveni

Ferran Fages (g), Àlex Reviriego (b), Vasco Trilla (dr)

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