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Sven-Ake Johansson, Axel Dorner, Andrea Neumann: Barcelona Series

Glenn Astarita By

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The musical implications portrayed here, seemingly hearken back to drummer, Sven-Ake Johansson’s flirtations with mechanistic noise music, most notably “Concerto for 12 tractors” and a concerto for Harley-Davidson motorcycles. With that notion in mind, the trio of trumpeter, Axel Dorner, Johansson and pianoharpist (a stripped down piano sans keys) Andrea Neumann engage in some unorthodox banter on this most interesting production. Furthermore, all of these pieces are untitled and categorized in numerical order while many of the passages feature, Dorner blowing air through his mouthpiece in lieu of producing tones, yet on rare occasions the artist does convey a melody or two.

The three-way dialogue consisting of Ms. Neumann’s artful manipulations of the innards of her unusual piano contraption, Dorner’s subversive expressionism and Johansson’s fluid underpinnings, makes for an abstractly appealing document. The incongruity of this set resides within Johansson’s very musical approach to Dorner’s eerily fascinating inclinations. Whether the drummer is constructing odd-metered, tom rolls, or implementing deft brushwork on his snare drum, the duo produces an abundance of contrasting statements in concert with Ms Neumann’s adroitly stated maneuvers. Naturally, much of this is up to the listeners’ discernment; however, certain instances might spark thoughts of listening to plumbing noise in a boiler room, or touring a manufacturing plant. Here, the band inadvertently deconstructs various art forms, yet more importantly mimic the often undetected or inconsequential sounds of life, going about its business. Bizarre, introverted, and unimaginable, Barcelona Series is largely unclassifiable yet irrefutably endearing! Recommended.


Track Listing: 1-11

Personnel: Sven-Ake Johansson: drums

Title: Barcelona Series | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Hat Hut Records


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