Gratkowski / Nabatov / Schmickler: Deployment (2010)
The trio synthesizes an array of mood-evoking frameworks via slopes and weaving layers of sound, complementing understated passages and steely interludes and generating a buoyant musical plane. The musicians often regroup, and seemingly reassess their mode of attack with microtonal fragments, frightful upper register choruses and off-kilter theme-building exercises. Part of Gratkowski's mission is to summon his comrades to destroy the enemy in concert with wieldy performances, spiced with ominous undercurrents. Intense and beyond intense, the album poses a study in polytonal contrasts, teeming with diverse angles and climactic opuses.
Schmickler is a shrewd technician as he often coasts, intersects and morphs odd soundscapes into the mix. On "Instance,," Gratkowski leads the troops into the heat of war with frantic and popping sax lines, atop Nabatov's eerie and fractured phrasings. The musicians' storyline is loaded with free form improvisation and heated exchanges. Nonetheless, the trio takes no prisoners while pronouncing a battle cry of freedom throughout this gripping and rather excitable venture.
Track Listing: Allocation; Artifact; Cluster; Instance; Node.
Personnel: Frank Gratkowski: alto saxophone, clarinets; Simon Nabatov: (prepared) piano; Marcus Schmickler: computer.
Record Label: Leo Records
Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde