Relics

· by Michel Rondeau

In 2006, Austrian trumpeter Franz Hautzinger invited some of the big names in improvised music – guitarist and fiddler Christian Fennesz, guitarist and turntablist Otomo Yoshihide, bassist Luc Ex, and Necks drummer Tony Buck – to a recording session where rock and jazz collided. Thirteen years later, at the instigation of the Klangspuren festival in Austria, the ad hoc band was back on the road again. The result this time, however, is less inward-looking and more nuanced. This is an opportunity to hear Fennesz and Yoshihide giving their all on the guitar, saturating the air in a destructive way while the trumpet flies over the melee and the rhythm section pounds relentlessly. There’s something joyful about these distorted guitars that seem to want to tear through metal. It bucks, it stomps, it grinds. Some pieces are more scattered and stripped down, but richly textured and still retaining that tension. We have to wait for the very last track to find a part of the atmospheric universe with the numerous strata typical of Fennesz, which gradually leads to a kind of pointillist crackling that becomes more and more agitated. The perfect way to get rid of grey moods in these gloomy times.

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