December 8, 2019
Mystery & Wonder MW 004
By Ken Waxman
Specializing in the outer limits of tones and timbres, Montreal’s PCP trio works through one short and one extended improvisation on this brief – less than 25 minute – CD, where the distinction among pure sounds are exalted without a need for melody, harmony or rhythm. Writ large on “Extended Listening Blues”, the parameters set up include laconic watery burbles from Craig Pedersen’s amplified trumpet, off-handed slaps from drummer Eric Craven and a cornucopia of licks from guitarist Alex Pelchat that sputter, twang and clang among high volume distortions.
Except for the occasional percussion thump or cymbal crash, the guitarist and trumpeter dominate the action with broken octave lines and dual counterpoint that initially evolves in a parallel fashion without intersection. By the mid-point however, the trumpeter’s dissected whistles and hums and the guitarist’s harsh string rubbing and metallic clangs reach a droning concordance, culminating in a finale of vibrating strings and measured brass breaths.
Not easy listening in any way internal/external/focused/broad shouldn’t be frightening either. In their own ways Free Music and Heavy Metal practitioners have set up challenges to familiar and comfortable music. Stripping sounds to primeval levels is what the PCP trio also does here, and the adventurous should want to check it to see how these experiments are proceeding.
-for The Whole Note December 2019