Flux Reflux is the second recorded outing of this improvising quartet, and the first one for Clean Feed. While Platform’s first album Anthropocene, was recorded right after the French clarinetist Xavier Charles joined three young musicians from Oslo to form a quartet, Flux Reflux is the result of several years of live experience.
The album consists of 6 acoustic, improvised pieces, and contains no compositions in the traditional sense of the word. Yet all tracks have a clear direction, with few, well balanced musical elements packed into each piece. Parallell to Darwin’s discovery of how life can develop without intelligent design, this music organizes itself without a composer. Every piece composes itself through the individual decisions of the musicians. And in the same way, Platforms style has developed clear esthetics through the years, without intentional steering from above.
This focus on collective listening is already apparent from the dreamy opening track ‘début’, and is intensified on the second track ‘Flux’, where percussive sounds on prepared piano and drums are placed along repetitive cycles of breathing sounds on cello and clarinet, creating dense polyrhythmic layers. From there, the album is all about incantative repetition and mutation of musical ideas, where each addition of elements is significant.
The exuberant track ’Reflux’, contrasts with the sacral sound sculptures on ‘Interlude’, where time seems to stand still. On these meditative sheets of sound everything is slow, minimal and tightly united, in a kind of cinematic music approaching the static condition of photography. The effect is mesmerizing and strangely beautiful, in such a way that you become a listening statue.
All of this acoustic details are beautifully captured by the unconventional methods of recording engineer Morten Qvenild, then mixed by Johnny Skalleberg and mastered by Christian Obermayer into a dense yet transparent sound image.
All music by Platform
Recorded by Morten Qvenild at Det Grønne Rommet | Mixed by Johnny Skalleberg at Amper Tone | Mastered by Christian Obermayer at Strype Audio
Produced by Platform | Executive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul | Design by Travassos