SURFACE OF INSCRIPTION
Elias Stemeseder piano | Charmaine Lee voice | Dré Hočevar drums, composition | Bernardo Barros electronics | Weston Olencki brass | Michael Foster reeds
Available on Amazon
There is a particular, stately calmness about this album as if it’s out-worldly sonics have been chiseled off some strange marble. From the abrasive brass opener onward, up to that final anguished scream, a sense of meticulously sculpted logic envelops it’s razor-sharp, elegantly reserved pieces. Wholly born of spontaneous improvisation, it is equally their subjection to the subtle sets of constraints and restrictions that make up for their final beauty. The master craftsman behind this elevating enterprise is Dré Hočevar, a drummer of considerable conceptual forcefulness and vision. Following his three previous outings on Clean Feed, with Surface of Inscription he may just have delivered his most accomplished work yet, and with his very distinct artistic creed of invoking new musical spaces – claiming a singular, yet untapped character – this is rather telling. In this particular endeavor he is joined by the vocalist Charmaine Lee, the pianist Elias Stemeseder, the brass player Weston Olencki and the reeds operator Michael Foster, with Bernardo Barros seamlessly weaving in his highly articulate electronica. The performers utilized a number of distinct compositional procedures in order for them to redesign their habitually used frames of interaction, with each of them playing the final take against the backdrop of a previously documented construction. What came out of such a methodical set-up is a kind of a forma viva, an open-air park of solidified sound. The music within is inscribed in a code you may not immediately recognize, yet it is certainly one you can’t help but marvel.
All music by Dré Hočevar
Recorded at Systems Two Studios, New York, November 11 and 12, 2016 by Rich Lamb | Mixed and mastered by Dave Darlington
Produced by Michael Carvin and Lester St.Louis | Executive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul | Design and artwork by Travassos