When I listen to this ensemble, abstract connotations or thoughts of The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour album moniker come to fruition. Of course, musical similarities are non-existent, since this multinational aggregation is firmly entrenched within the avant-garde schema, led by free-jazz icon and saxophonist Evan Parker. No doubt, the ensemble does take you on a mysterious ride, that seemingly changes on each subsequent listen.
This 2009 release stands as the unit's fourth effort, featuring an expanded lineup, where conventional instrumentation and the electronics components slice and dice through prismatic, and rather fleeting storylines. The musicians merely intimate clues and hints, but keep the listener in suspense amid fragmented motifs, intersected by flickering EFX, and blurry dream sequences. Parker, performing solely on soprano sax, joins trumpeter Peter Evans, violinist Philipp Wachsmann and others, for a set of asymmetrical movements executed atop multifarious signal processing techniques, samples and live electronics processing.
Imagine a histogram with numerous dips and spikes, for example. Featuring Wachsmann's concise staccato phrasings atop jangling percussion and loops, the artists also execute gruff choruses while occasionally skirting minimalist territory. They trek upon murky waters via harrowing backdrops and Agusti Fernandez' cascading prepared piano maneuvers. Essentially, the band's overall muse once again boasts aural trickery, multihued contrasts and radically produced abstractions.
On the final piece VII, one of the electronics performers renders a silvery droning motif that projects the group's methodology onto a horizontal vista. Here, the program drifts towards a sense of timelessness. Hence, their latest outing spawns yet another series of events that is akin to a fascinating voyage into the infinitesimal depths of the mind's eye.- Glenn Astarita