Carlos Zíngaro / Dominique Regef / Wilbert DeJoode – Spectrum String Trio (CF 110)
The string trio featured on “Spectrum” isn’t of the orthodox chamber improv variety, though they certainly get to the woody textures, slashes and serrations, and microtonal materials that I can’t resist. What’s distinct is not only the presence of Regef’s unpredictably deployed hurdy-gurdy (drones are anything but a constant here) but the personalities of the players, less given to creating echoes of Bartok or Ligeti and more likely to create chorales out of non-melodic materials: squeals, cries in the dark, or animal mewling. Regef’s electric razor buzz in the opening minutes of “Spectra 02” is superb, cutting across and into the sounds generated elsewhere (contrasting particularly effectively with the melancholy lyricism from the violin). The piece gathers itself up into a fulsome drone that lasts for some time, and it recalls Terry Riley more than contemporary electroacoustic stuff. The players seem to excel in hesitancy, with pauses and rests being as prevalent throughout as are dizzying passages of threeway skitter-shriek. De Joode is an expert in navigating these almost tentative territories, as his long-standing employer Ab Baars seems to favor these in his trio. But he also makes his instrument improbably graceful, without ever coming across like he has cello-envy. Zingaro (I’ve no idea about the quotes on the surname, by the way) is the imp here, double-stopping and always on the verge of some fireside reel. The most caustic and dense piece is the closer, with considerable mimesis among all three (but particularly de Joode and Zingaro). It proba¬bly works better live, but it’s still satisfying. As is often the case with these kinds of sessions, the tracks are rich feasts best sampled—at least to me—one at a time. They’re each quite provocative, and filled with compelling details and ideas.
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