Peter Van Huffel’s CALLISTO

Peter Van Huffel  baritone saxophone, electronics | Lina Allemano  trumpet | Antonis Anissegos  piano, electronics | Joe Hertenstein  drums


Born of jazz tradition, yet audaciously and extravagantly dismissive of its more fatigued conventions, comes the devilish Meandering Demons, the fantastic debut full-length from Peter Van Huffel’s CALLISTO.

Largely eschewing the full-throttle punch and pile-driving groove of his longstanding Gorilla Mask unit, this new bass-less quartet finds Canadian firebrand Van Huffel resolutely exploring the frazzled frontiers between composition and free-form improv, making like Dune Guild Navigators, juggling space and time.

Finding maximal headroom in the formation’s low-end vacuum, Meandering Demons captures CALLISTO as they double down on their built-in propensity for chicanery, spontaneity and surprise, operating with bracing tonal candour.

Van Huffel throws down snaky and snarky from his baritone sax, locked in a series of combustible, register-exchanging salvos with Lina Allemano’s bustling trumpet hustle. Joe Herstenstein’s percussion ferments arcane textural fission and rumbling tub-thumping polyrhythms, underpinning the phantasmal phrasing of pianist Antonis Anissegos, while subtle electronic embellishments enrich the acoustic interplay.

Established protocols are buried beneath a cloud of sulphurous Mephistophelean reek, an otherworldly by-product of this band’s wicked alchemical experiments.

Across Meandering Demons’ seven intoxicating hybrids, Van Huffel’s intricately-detailed structures – some expansive and suite-like, bursting with architectural ingenuity, others aching like a slow-burn, fraught, subtle harmonic twists and suggestive layering – segue into wildly writhing, occasionally impish, extemporisation.

Bizarre instrumental spectres hone in and out of view, like Lovecraftian entities lurking amid the chattering chaos of CALLISTO’s collective tongue; an absorbingly mysterious vernacular, honed to dramatic vibrancy via the mastering chops of audio wizard, James Plotkin.

All compositions by Peter Van Huffel (GEMA)

Recorded October 12th & 13th, 2022 at Hansa Studios Berlin by Martin Offik | Mixed by Martin Offik in Berlin, Germany | Mastered by James Plotkin at Plotkinworks, USA
Produced by Peter Van Huffel | Executive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul | Design and artwork by Travassos | Photo by Manuel Miethe

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