Pianist Aki Takase (Japan), violinist Aleksander Kolkowski (England) and drummer Tony Buck (Australia) embark upon a series of abstracts that often elicits notions of the avant-garde cinema. Hence, the music is visual, yet undeniably ethereal in scope. As the trio’s moniker, “Dempa” signifies the Japanese word for “electrical wave.”
With this release, the musicians integrate live electronics among other instruments and methodologies into the mix. They abide by a dynamic improvisational approach, teeming with weird effects and a credo that seemingly demands a plethora of subtle surprises. Moreover, they intersperse sequences of humor into the grand scheme of things. And an overall gait that might spark visions of a shifting weathervane caught up in a pattern of turbulent crosswinds. On “Nine Fragments,” Ms. Takase melds off kilter stride piano with imprecise excerpts from the Gershwin songbook. While the musicians also integrate otherworldly sounds with spoken word.
A study in contrasts for sure, however the band also touches upon chamber and free jazz in addition to pursuing frenetic three-way discourses. The overall strangeness of this recording is topped off by the musicians’ lighthearted approach amid a jumble of unanticipated thematic excursions. Recommended...