Before Nightfall One by Ingar Zach + Speak Percussion

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Ingar Zach + Speak Percussion | Before Nightfall One
Sofa (CD/DL)

Documenting a day of collaboration with a culminating concert comes Norwegian percussionist and label founder Ingar Zach + Australian act Speak Percussion‘s Before Nightfall One on the SOFA imprint. Here an emerging, singular thirty-five minute piece begins to dazzle with a low-throttle purr. It’s industrial flair, like a vacillating motor, sounds also as if we are beyond normal altitude, until the clanging of assorted objects creates a delightful splintered percussion, and we are once again sort of grounded. Within the harmonious rattling there’s a chime that stands high on its pitch, a sound that ferments a bit of solitude. That sound becomes more dominant as they move through the piece, making the atmosphere still, meditative in the first quarter. 

Inagr Zach & Speak Percussion by Bryony Jackson

The elongated gong-like chime just simply floats in space over some minor sizzling effects.  After only ten minutes the listener may start to get lost in blearly-eyed bliss, but they seem to know their audience too well – changing things up with stylized reedy percussion that spins, saws, churns and finally mimics the innards of something like a pinball machine at full tilt. The trio here seems to find the most agile sweet spots to place pregnant pauses and intimate breaths – and the proceedings are the far left of dynamic. These divergent percussive voices come together in something experimental, something playful, yet unencumbered by anything remotely traditional.

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They use space in an interesting way as well, some of their sounds coming from a distance, while others are so tactile you are right there in their nimble hands. The use of industrial flexing, the concave and convex shaping of their sound, seems a central core to their composition, however the parts are improvised or pre-determined. You experience a certainty to their precision despite that it comes out on the other side as fairly free form, even in the final minutes where the soaring drone scrapes the sky. It’s a breathlessly complex recording.

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