Gianfratti + Scarassatti + Yoshihide +Hartmann
Psychogeography, An Improvisational Derive | Not Two Records (CD)
Antonio Panda Gianfratti: Percussion, Drums
Marco Scarassatti: Viola de Cocho, Self-made instruments (Kraiser, PássaroCocho, Tromp Kirk Roland)
Otomo Yoshihide: Electric Guitar and Bass, Turntables
Paulo Hartmann: Prepared 3rd Bridge Guitar, Freteless prepared Chiquita, Gambelão + Effects
Captured live at Improfest (2017) these four talented musicians came together to deliver something that incorporates and breaks from various cultural traditions (and genres). Brazilians multi-instrumentalists Antonio Panda Gianfratti, Marco Scarassatti, and Paulo Hartmann with Japanese guitarist and noise-maker Otomo Yoshihide come together as they fall apart in an all out jam session of cosmic jazz, hushed to extravagant. But this is not at all jazz by any standard, it’s far more tricky and ambiguous. Chords shift on a dime, but when they are way down low is where you will experience the most fluid of nuances, and influences by way of both Latin and Asian forms.
The pieces, a half dozen here, are each numbered such as -23.555884,-46.6374735, which infer a longitude/latitude (of place…of mind?). The quartet develops these dippy rhythms that contort lowercase percussion with, at times, almost Polynesian/tropical lil’ anthems. Things get delicate but somehow do not seem fragile, like they are cradling the calm before the storm in this slice of acoustic unity, though it has that ere of foreboding spirit.
The whaling sonic guitar and minimal percussive fragments are completely engaged and revved-up on -23.5681348,-46.522029. Is noisy, queasy, but not at all an assault on the senses, instead it flaps its tail while holding its tongue. But a lil’ fret eeks its way into this realm of premeditated karma at a crossroads. These works vibrate with the potential for grandiose velocity, but the intended tension remains intact throughout – through the quietude and dark spots, through the meandering passages in which the listener is led. It literally sounds at various junctures as if they are opening a can of worms (or whoop-ass, depending on your p.o.v.). The subtlety of -19.8708043,-43.9667332 has a endless drop, a barren open metallic echo. Each creak and strum is omnipresent, making this a bit of a radio drama.
Psychogeography… offers something mystic, just beyond the rational everyday. With the scrubbing of guitar strings and other oscillations, the cries manifest themselves. In the end the four players take -19.9359989,-43.9201107 to the hilt. The squeaky wheel remains perfectly unresolved as this resembles everything from old-timey sketch cartoons to sounds inspired from American Riversongs from the Wild West. It’s a jumble of disorderly primitivism sculpted into an infectious acoustic assemblage.