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Plug and Pray is the duo of prolific French pianist Benoît Delbecq, known for his unique poly-metric approach to the prepared piano and his collaborations with innovative improvisers as double bass master Joëlle Léandre, who plays here on other keyboards, bass station and e-drumming as well, and prolific Belgian Jozef Dumoulin, master of the Fender Rhodes and member of the group The Bureau Of Atomic Tourism, who also plays here on other keyboards, bass station and e-drumming. I guess that after these gifted, genre-blind and adventurous hyper-keyboardists plugged their instruments to electricity they could only pray that their improvisations on these enhanced-transformed-mutated instruments would lead some meaningful music.

There is no doubt that the prayers of Delbecq and Dumoulin have reached high enough. «Evergreens», the duo debut album, as well as the debut album of the new Parisian label dStream, recorded in Brussels during 2015 and 2016, is a real gem. The hyper-keyboards setting already dictated an atmosphere that inevitably led to sonic surprises and demanded risk taking, eventually also offering fresh options and ideas about the modern and future language of acoustic and electronic keyboards.

You don’t really need to have your «Cortex Rewired», as the opener piece is titled, to enjoy this suggestive, spacey piece that flirts with twisted techno beats, establishing the organic, playful interplay of the duo. You are bound to appreciate the manner that this duo sketches mysterious dramatic tension on the fragmented «Le Moulin Du Ruisseau» and the atmospheric «The Pictures That Got Small»; juggles with hallucinogenic beats of «Singapore Rhapsody» or constructs dreamy soundscape on «Sonate Pour Un Printemps Meilleur». You may also be delighted in the moments Delbecq and Dumoulin sound as enjoying sliding off-track, exploring new sounds and newer dynamics, even if these restless searches conclude in dead-ends.

Eyal Hareuveni

Benoît Delbecq (p), Jozef Dumoulin (Fender Rhodes, keys, bass station, e-dr)

PLUG AND PRAY (Benoît Delbecq & Jozef Dumoulin) – EVERGREENS from Igor Juget on Vimeo.

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