Posted on Jun 23rd 2011 01:22 am

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Giovanni Di Domenico/Arve Henriksen/Tatsuhisa Yamamoto: Clinamen

Off/Rat Records 2011
10 Tracks. 52mins15secs

Amazon UK: CD | DLD US: CD | DLD Boomkat: CD iTunes: DLD

Assembled and led by Italian-born pianist and keyboard player Giovanni Di Domenico, and counting trumpeter extraordinaire Arve Henriksen and drummer and percussionist Tatsuhisa Yamamoto, this is a trio with a very uncompromising experimental outlook. The wealth of experience brought under this project is staggering. Perhaps the best known of the three, Henriksen needs no introduction, his solo work and his involvement, past and present, with Supersilent, Christian Wallumrød’s various formations, Food or the Trygve Seim Ensemble have contributed to make him one of the most prominent musicians of the contemporary Scandinavian jazz scene. Almost ten years his junior, Di Domenico is also an well established instrumentalist with an impressive number of collaborations under his belt, while Yamamoto regularly performs with Jim O’Rourke and has, in the past, worked with members of AcidMotherTemple and Boredoms amongst others.

The album take its name from a concept defined by roman poet and philosopher Lucretius relating to the unpredictable swerve atoms make when falling down and the resulting collisions with other atoms to create energy. The part of the idea which relates particularly to the record is the chance factor which determines these swerves and collisions. Chance indeed seems to play an important role here as the trio size each other, evaluate their position within the formation, and react to each other’s input.

While it is not specified in which order these compositions were developed and recorded, there appear to be an increased level of fluidity as the album progresses. In its early stages, the music is extremely fragmented and angular. Di Domenico’s keyboards and electronics are regularly punctured by Yamamoto’s drumming, sparse and abstract at first (Hyrje, Aide), growing meatier and more complex on pieces such as Mask That Eats Water and Idiot Glee or more intricate and textured on Nakizumi or Fanno Il Deserto E Lo Chiamano. Di Domenico, armed with piano, Fender Rhodes and synths, deploys a panoply of rhythmic motifs often baring heavy traces of abstraction (Aide, Idiot Glee), austere segments (Hyrje, Silence, Mask) and beautiful airy touches (Clinamen), tempered with electronics, which are scattered throughout, often in discreet touches, all serving the main tonal direction which the other two follow and build upon.

Henriksen is first noted here for the characteristic vocal abstractions he has developed, on Hyrje and later on Vatos and Clinamen, before his trumpet does the talking for him, from the incredibly gossamer textures he devises on Silence Is Twice As Fast Backward to the more clearly defined phrases on Aether Talk (For Joao) or Fanno.

Clinamen is a record which requires quite a level of involvement from the listener to begin reveal its many facets. At times arid and seemingly impenetrable, it tests the patience, but persistence is the key and the reward is well worth the effort, as when it eventually opens up, it is to reveal a fascinating universe where there aren’t any straight line and nothing that works really should.


Arve Henriksen | Arve Henriksen (MySpace) | Off
Amazon UK: CD | DLD US: CD | DLD Boomkat: CD iTunes: DLD

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