Reviews that mention Moritz Anthes

January 8, 2022

Matthias Muche

Bonecrusher
Col Legno CL3 1 CD 15011

A field day or trombone fanciers or perhaps more appropriately a demonstration of sackbut versatility, Köln-based trombonist Matthias Muche oversees a five track CD where all sounds are created by two percussionists and 10 trombonists including himself. While the concept may superficially resemble that of a concert brass band CD, Bonecrusher has as much in common with that configuration as John Phillip Sousa had with John Cage.

While some may miss the roars of gutbucket slurs associated with the mid-range brass instrument, as a composer and conceptualizer Muche is more concerned with showing off the instrument’s ample tonal reach. Vibrations within the body tube are heard more often than timbres that float out the bell. That means that packed harmonies can create reflective drones as well as projecting tones from the entire brass spectrum. Percussionists Rie Watanabe and Etienne Nillesen are also the furthest thing from drum bangers, so that throughout their patterning reflect vibrations from wood, rims and metal rather than straight smacks. MORE

December 21, 2020

The Dorf/Phil Niblock

Baobab
Umland Records 31

The Dorf is a band in a hurry. At least that’s the impression advanced by this two-CD set that reproduces a concert in Dortmund, Germany. Conducted by saxophonist Jan Klare the 34-piece configuration not only races through three pieces by Klare at steeplechase velocity, but also tackles a double-length version of American composer Phil Niblock’s drone piece “Baobab” that while clocking in at 46 minutes somehow seems to speed by in the duration of a long eye blink.

As concentrated as a slab of marble, the key to appreciate “Baobab” is to let the dense sequence proceed without expecting conventional highs and lows. Instead, as the movement almost overwhelms, mites of division flash by. Early on the shuddering power appears to include occasional voltage hisses, and by mid-point buzzing drones pushed out by each section of the orchestra seems to become deeper and darker. Wavering beats can be sensed within the hypnotic consolidation, and while the result is an extension of affiliated modulation, a generic calm is present along with raw potency. With no division of individual timbres the track unrolls until it stops. MORE

September 16, 2020

Check Test Check

Half Laboratory Half Band
Umland Records 30

Setoladimaiale Unit & Evan Parker

Live at Angelica 2018

Setoladimaiale SM 3880

Whether ad-hoc or regularly organized, committed to interpreting compositions or pure improvisation, little big bands can serve as flexible vehicles for musical expression. But besides a similarity in number of players, very little unites these ensembles except how each shrewdly solves sonic challenges. Live at Angelica 2018 adds veteran British improviser Evan Parker to a clutch of Italian players for a nearly 71¼ -minute single track sound exploration recorded in Bologna. Half Laboratory Half Band in contrast draws 10 players from the massive Essen-based The Dorf orchestra to experiment with five compositions by tenor saxophonist Jan Klare and two group improvisations that later may be added to the larger group’s repertoire. MORE