Artist: Akira Sakata, Fred Longberg-Holm, Ketil Gutvik, Paal Nilssen-Love
Album: The Cliff Of Time
Genre: Free Improvisation, Free Jazz
Recordsng Date: 2016
In a word, blistering. The Cliff of Time starts with a bang and doesn't let up for the duration, with four tracks of crushing freedom. "The Woman in the Dunes" is as frenzied an opener as I have ever heard. Sakata sounds like a man animated by a 1000 volts of electricity as Gutvik's guitar flays the onslaught into thin slices. Lonberg-Holm'scello oozes distorted, lower register goo over the mayhem before Sakata charges back in at 100mph. Paal Nillsen-Love hints at a beat throughout but lets the surrounding maelstrom get the best of it.
It's nearly 10 minutes of unrelenting music that finally receeds with strumming cello and guitar. You can even hear a bit of Coltrane's crazed melodicism in Sakata's final notes as the song lays itself to rest. "The Dancing Girl of Izu" has Sakata playing clarinet, with furious strumming from Gutvik juxtaposed with Lonberg-Holm's maniacal squelch. His processed, bowed lines expertly caress the woodwind squalor. Eventually Nillsen-Love adds his remarks, fluttering beneath the conversation with interjections of his signature slash and burn drumming. "Face of Another" bays and howls at the start, sliding around the tonal spectrum with controlled feedback and wobbly, Ayler-esque sax. It's something like eating Burmese food or some other seriously tasty meal; sensory overload in the best way possible, with a full spectrum of sound in every sonic molecule.
The sounds/playing are so tonally dense, so sonically rich, that one feels smothered in aural goodness. Perhaps this is what LSD sounds like? "When the Woman Ascends the Stairs" has insectoid guitar and cello interplay with fizzing cymbals. Sakata cautiously enters the conversation and Nillsen-Love switches to mallets for a softer counterpoint to the mangled string interplay. It's a quieter affair in general. A bent note signals Nillsen-Love to add his fractured pulse, randomly striking drums in a loosely choreographed sparring session with Gutvik, who is beyond saturation at this point. Sakata charges in full bore this time around and Lonberg-Holm scratches out anti melody, sounding like a crazed Lee Ranaldo.
This disc clearly has a female preoccupation in both titles and artwork, but the music is less about sensuous curves and soft beauty than the multidimensional, complex female personality refracted through the lens of these highly skilled gentlemen. - Matt Schulz, SquidsEar
Alto Saxophone, Clarinet [Bb] – 坂田明 Akira Sakata
Cello, Electronics – Fred Longberg-Holm
Drums, Percussion – Paal Nilssen-Love
Electric Guitar – Ketil Gutvik
1 The Women In The Dunes
2 The Dancing Girl Of Izu
3 Face Of Another
4 When A Woman Ascends The Stairs Download: