spiral inputs

Spiral Inputs
Sophie Agnel . piano
Bertrand Gauguet . amplified alto & soprano saxophones
Andrea Neumann . piano frame, electronic devices
Spiral #01 | 18.12
Spiral #02 | 18.35
Spiral #03 | 09.36
Spiral #04 | 04.57
total time : 00 :51.20
Another Timbre. AT39, 2011 | distribution : Metamkine
Read an interview about the project

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Should I be forced to pick a favourite amidst the four tracks the choice would fall on “Spiral #3”, gifted with an additional dose of mystery, a fragmented eeriness that, after a while, opens up to a repeated cluster by Agnel; its beauty is literally aching, bringing back memories of childhood in a flash. But the whole album deserves a plaque in the Hall Of Fame of the last decade’s best improvisation. A mature statement that leaves the doors open to throbbing hearts while still walking along the ear/brain gratification axis.  >>  Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes

So I could end this review with a list of superlatives, and declare this the best album I’ve heard since whenever, or just state that listening to it, listening with it, letting it swarm and flow around me, has been a thoroughly joyful experience after a thoroughly tedious day. If improvised music is your thing, if, like me, you revel in the way musicians listen to each other int he moment and respond accordingly, if, like me you enjoy a blend of acoustic and electronic sounds of varying texture and dynamic, then you will enjoy this album a great deal. Fine stuff, and yet another winner from another solid batch of AT releases.  >>  Richard Pinnell, The Watchful Ear, http://www.thewatchfulear.com

Gauguet’s playing is a revelation for me. It is less microscopic than you might expect from a player working in extended techniques and microtonal sounds. It is placed out front. It moves faster than is typical for this type of playing. It sounds JUST enough like a horn to lend this group an organic feel that let’s me imagine I’m in their presence playing. Agnel accents his playing perfectly, too. Instead of frantically employing random sounds in a typical fast burst, slow scrape pattern that is quite common, she knocks the wood inside the piano only once during one portion, making that striking blow stand out in the memory. Likewise, what I hear as a pluck of the strings within the piano are some inverted comping move from Hell, but it works in a quite precise way, lending a layer of pattern atop Gauguet’s own evenly-timed sputters.
There is so much good music here, it is hard to really cover the moment-by-moment process of four long improvisations. I will say that if you want to hear some powerful freely improvised music in a less common combo (thanks to the prepared piano), you’ll fall in love with this album immediately. Oh, and check out everything I name check. >> Paul Banks, http://killedincars.com