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Quarterpounder: brood

Bruce Lindsay By

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Quarterpounder, led by Copenhagen-based bassist and composer-in-chief Mathias Wedeken, has an affinity with vinyl. The band's first release avoided the CD racks altogether. Its second album, brood, does the same, appearing as a beautifully-packaged 12" vinyl album, complete with a striking cover design and an accompanying download. It's a classy product all round.

brood features the same line-up as the band's debut, becoming (Gateway Music, 2011). It's a tight, intuitive, quartet: the trombone and tenor sax front-line gives Quarterpounder a distinctively warm but positive sound which Wedeken's bass and Rasmus Lund's drums underpin with confidence.

"A." opens with a repetitive single note from Anders Bast's tenor sax—akin to Neil Welch's minimalist approach—and the dynamic builds slowly from that point as the remaining members of the quartet join in. Restraint, control and economy result in a surprisingly atmospheric and, yes, brooding performance.

Lund and Wedeken give "We're Not Here To Save You" a punchy, immediate groove, a foundation for Petter Hängsel's slick trombone solo. "Lied, Klein" is gentler, a melodic, mid-tempo tune with Bast's tenor sax taking centre-stage. "Irk" has a free, improvised, feel. Lund's percussion gives it pace and there's another impressive solo from Hängsel but the tune doesn't build on the promise of its early dynamic. Bast's "Beams Of Light In The Attic," the only tune not written by Wedeken, is rhythmically looser than the bassist's compositions and notable for some cheerful interplay between bass and drums.

"A Bird, A Spider" is another number full of controlled tension—Hängsel and Bast engage in a sonic dance as if bird and spider are constantly attempting to outflank each other, while Wedeken and Lund set up a hypnotic rhythm. Eventually the tension resolves as things get more frenetic and urgent.

brood is enhanced by excellent sound quality—the production values of the vinyl record are very high. The music is deserving of such attention to sonic detail, for Quarterpounder is a band on an upward trajectory.

Track Listing: A.; We're Not Here To Save You; Lied, Klein; Irk; Beams Of Light In The Attic; A Bird, A Spider.

Personnel: Petter Hängsel: trombone; Anders Bast: tenor saxophone; Mathias Wedeken: double bass; Rasmus Lund: drums.

Title: brood | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Gateway Music


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