Škvíry&Spoje (cracks & joints) is a Czech and Slovak experimental, free improvising quartet featuring trumpeter-clarinetist-electronics player Petr Vrba, guitarist Michal Matejka, vibes player Dalibor Kocián and drummer Jozef Krupa, and has been working for ten years. Hotel Spojár is the sixth album of the quartet but its first and only physical release, a limited edition double vinyl with a hand-crafted cover artwork designed by Klára Zahrádková (plus a download option), and celebrates Škvíry&Spoje and offers a collection of retrospective and present-perspective pieces.
The title of this quartet was inspired by construction rather than drug-related connotations and reflects Škvíry&Spoje’s approach to its music, which revolves around entirely ad hoc improvisation. The Czech duo Škvíry consists of Matejka and Vrba on winds and electronics, while the Slovak duo Spoje comprises Krupa and Kocián, but this division is rarely followed and the four musicians often engage in solos, trios, and quartet interplay, with formations appearing, disappearing, and transforming throughout their sound dialogs.
The six pieces explore the rich and bold electro-acoustic sonic palette of the quartet, combining elements of minimalist free jazz, raw and abstract noise, post-rock experimental and psychedelic sounds, and ECM-inspired impressionist moods. The A and B sides of Hotel Spojár offer a current snapshot of Škvíry&Spoje’s live performances with its adventurous and unpredictable investigation of cinematic and atmospheric sonic territories through extended improvisations and usage of extended techniques in a manner that flirts with the aesthetics of Norwegian Supersilent but with more groove-based rhythmic patterns. The C and D sides present rarely released and mostly shorter pieces from the quartet’s earlier days around 2013, with its more structured, playful but still eccentric, slow-cooking improvisations that revolve around hypnotic pulses and shape the unique sound of Škvíry&Spoje.
Dalibor Kocián (vibraphone), Jozef Krupa (drums), Michal Matejka (guitar), Petr Vrba (clarinet, trumpet, electronics)