4

Partikel: Counteraction

Roger Farbey By

Sign in to view read count
Counteraction is Partikel's fourth album to date and their follow-up to 2015's String Theory. Without wishing to wrap this review up in a couple of sentences, it's probably their best to date and adopts their customary deployment of heterogeneous instrumentation—strings and reeds notably—and characteristically unorthodox structures.

"Land And Sea" begins tentatively but soon leads into a short saxophone melody and onto a strident ensemble vamp redolent of King Crimson. "Scenes And Sounds" opens with a brief melee of sound reverting to a calmer melody introduced by Duncan Eagles on tenor saxophone. Ant Law contributes a lithe, fluid solo, meticulously avoiding running the customary gamut of guitar clichés.

The blending of jazz and classical elements throughout Counteraction is pervasive and subtle—as an exemplar of this just listen to "Lanterns" but as if to emphasise the duality of Partikel's influences Benet McLean's violin on the title track is stunning. His playing often evokes that of Dominique Pifarély's in his contributions to Mike Westbrook's seminal On Duke's Birthday and later on The Orchestra of Smith's Academy.

Early on in "The Blood Of The Pharoah" the listener is treated to a short swanee whistle type evocation of The Clangers, followed by some lugubrious cello near-quotes from "Hearts And Flowers" both of which reflect the cornucopia of disparate moods captured in each of the pieces. McLean's violin positively effervesces with energy and continues to astound with his virtuosity and imaginative extemporisation, as witnessed on the final track, "Bolden Days," a lively paean to the innovative legendary cornetist, Buddy Bolden.

Whilst it would be churlish (and wrong) to suggest that Counteraction borders on chamber jazz at times, this could be an easy misapprehension to make. But the music is much more mercurial than that. Imbued with a kaleidoscopically changing palette of sonic colours and tempos this is an album of brave and imaginative compositions enhanced by bravura performances.

Track Listing: Land and Sea #1; Scenes and Sounds #2; Lanterns #3; Counteraction #4; Moving Fields #5; Introduction to the Blood of the Pharoah #6; Blood of the Pharoah #7; Bolden Days #8;

Personnel: Duncan Eagles #1; Saxophone Max Luthert #2; Bass Eric Ford #3; Drums Ant Law #4; Guitar Benet McLean #5; Violin Anna Cooper #6; Baritone Sax and Flute Sisi Lu #7; Electronics Matthew Sharp #7; Cello

Title: Counteraction | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Whirlwind Recordings Ltd


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Float Upstream CD/LP/Track Review Float Upstream
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 26, 2017
Read Extremophile CD/LP/Track Review Extremophile
by John Sharpe
Published: September 26, 2017
Read The Source CD/LP/Track Review The Source
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 26, 2017
Read Setembro CD/LP/Track Review Setembro
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 26, 2017
Read Aqustico vol 2 CD/LP/Track Review Aqustico vol 2
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 25, 2017
Read "Which Craft?" CD/LP/Track Review Which Craft?
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Crop Circles" CD/LP/Track Review Crop Circles
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "Tangents" CD/LP/Track Review Tangents
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 28, 2017
Read "Opening Statement" CD/LP/Track Review Opening Statement
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Metal Na Madeira" CD/LP/Track Review Metal Na Madeira
by Jim Trageser
Published: January 6, 2017
Read "Last Dream of the Morning" CD/LP/Track Review Last Dream of the Morning
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 28, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.