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«The Undanced Dance»
BEAD, 44
«Muted Language»
BEAD, 45

light.box is the British duo of trumpeter-electronics player Alex Booney (who is also a producer and recording engineer) and bass guitarist-electronics player Pierre Alexandre Tremblay. Both are focusing on expansive electronic processing of droney, glitchy, doomy, dirty, epic and noisy improvisations. The third album of the light.box duo is a collaboration with the Norwegian, Leeds-based drummer Emil Karlsen. Bonney recorded, mixed and mastered recently Karlsen’s Spaces Unfolding quartet (The Way We Speak, Beed, 2022). This ad-hoc trio’s album was recorded at Huddersfield University in October 2021.

The title of the album, The Undanced Dance, captures faithfully the spirit of this hyperactive and highly inventive collaboration. Fractured grooves blend into dark, cinematic ambient drones and morph into spontaneous improvisations, colored by epic electronica and ornamented with raw noises. Obviously, you can’t dance with these sonic textures as there are no pulse or steady rhythmic patterns to hold to, and Karlsen’s playing is totally free, but all these eclectic and eccentric textures radiate a sense of urgent and tangible physical presence.

Muted Language is a cross-generational meeting of British master free improvising drummer Mark Sanders (on the right channel) and the young Karlsen (on the left channel), beautifully recorded by fellow free improviser Chris Sharkey in a single afternoon in May 2021. Sanders was Karlsen’s teacher at Leeds Conservatoire

The album offers six distinct and patient, intimate and free-flowing conversations of like-minded, inventive rhythmic explorers, ranging from polyrhythmic, contrapuntal dialogues to sonic explorations, including overtones and subtle shifts in timbre, often made by the swishing sounds emanating from manipulated cymbals. Fellow British free improviser Phil Durrant, who contributed short liner notes, praises Sanders and Karlsen’s immediate, musical interplay, the profound understanding of these gifted, virtuoso drummers – with no words spoken, as one of the pieces hints – as well as how their individual rhythmic dialects complement each other, each with his own extended percussive techniques. An excellent drum duo.

Eyal Hareuveni

Alex Bonney (tp, elec), Pierre Alexandre Tremblay (bg, elec), Emil Karlsen (dr), Mark Sanders (dr)

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