Todd McComb’s Jazz Thoughts – Powertrio – Di Lontan

By Todd Mcombs

In a completely different direction is Di Lontan, by a group called Powertrio, which is Eduardo Raon (harp), Joana Sá (piano), and Luís José Martins (guitar) — with the performers also credited with electronics & idiophones. (Powertrio’s first recording, from 2008, is on Creative Sources, but I haven’t heard it: What We See While We Walk And What We Walk While Thinking.) Like Bury My Heart, Di Lontan contains no recording date, although it does say it was recorded in Lisbon: Is this music produced in layers over time? I don’t know. In any case, it’s rather minimalist, with isorhythms, ostinati, arpeggios, etc. It reminds me a bit of some of the minimalist post-rock one can hear on e.g. Cuneiform, and is a joint release for Clean Feed with Shhpuma, marking something of an entry for them into this other genre — whatever it is. The interest to Di Lontan isn’t so much in drones or in continuity between styles — it doesn’t consciously move through a series of styles like e.g. The Necks — but in the different percussive attacks & decays of the string instruments. Although it slows down at times, the various tinkling & squeaks can be lively, and there are often many individual notes being manipulated at once. I enjoy the more “grating” articulations, reminding me somewhat of Repose and vertigo(which has other dimensions), but the more crystalline plucking also appeals. I wouldn’t call the sound “emergent,” and it can be a bit repetitive at times (with perhaps an “emergent pattern”), but I found listening to Di Lontan to be mentally refreshing. So that’s always welcome.


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