1

Triptet: Figures in the Carpet

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Triptet: Figures in the Carpet Triptet's music is hard to categorize within one particular genre. The Seattle based group's second release, Figures in the Carpet, is a unique cross between the hypnotic ambience of synth-pop and avant-garde jazz's complex and dissonant harmonies. Elegiac and mystical motifs and free-flowing spontaneity endow the album with a thematic unity.

The deconstructed lullaby "Surfactants," for example, opens with wistful chimes over waves of robotic drone and other sonic effects. French hornist Greg Campbell, with his vibrato-filled sound, joins saxophonist Michael Monhart's unfettered soprano in an angst-filled duet that fuses into swirls of an otherworldly din.

A dramatic and expressionistic sensibility runs throughout this thought-provoking record The melancholic dialogue between Monhart and Campbell expands over guitarist Tom Baker's electric, Zen strums on "Palimpsest." Enveloped in percussion's rustling wind, Baker and Campbell exchange haunting vamps. Monhart's forlorn tenor chant glides over thundering drums and Baker's twangy strings.

Perhaps the most cinematic of all the pieces is "Tuning the Blue City." With Its mixture of heavy thuds of deeply resonant drums and swells of electronic modulations it could easily serve as a film soundtrack, albeit one directed by David Lynch. This darkly hued fantasy features galloping rhythms through deserted urban soundscapes filled only by the ominous jangle and moan of automated machinery.

The album is much more than just atmospheric accoutrement. The ambient reverberations serve as a background to intricate improvisations. Campbell's mellow horn flows out of the murky tonal storm of the title track, eloquently punctuating his band mates' refrains. Monhart's edgy and energetic tenor solo emerges out of the rumble of "External Rhyme," while Baker's assertive guitar leads a charged extemporization out of the roar of "The Myth of the Ordinary Man." The tune, characterized by percussive African sensibilities, closes with a delightful and stimulating cacophony, reminiscent of some of Art Ensemble Of Chicago's work.

This intriguing disc by an intelligently creative trio is clearly not for mainstream consumption. Its mixture of abstract intellectualism and visceral emotionality is, however, immensely rewarding for those more open-minded.


Track Listing: External Rhyme; Gates of Glass; Figure in the Carpet; Palimpsest; Rain Tractor; Ode to the Nightwatchman; Under Land; Tuning the Blue City; The Myth of an Ordinary Man; Surfactants.

Personnel: Michael Monhart: saxophone, electronics; Tom Baker: fretless guitar, theremin, electronics; Greg Campbell: drums, junk percussion, French horn.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Engine Studios


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Home" CD/LP/Track Review Home
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 10, 2016
Read "Guess Who I Saw Today" CD/LP/Track Review Guess Who I Saw Today
by Edward Blanco
Published: July 14, 2016
Read "The Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition" CD/LP/Track Review The Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: February 4, 2017
Read "Once Upon a Time Right Now" CD/LP/Track Review Once Upon a Time Right Now
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: July 29, 2016
Read "Vocturnal" CD/LP/Track Review Vocturnal
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 16, 2016
Read "Pulsation" CD/LP/Track Review Pulsation
by Nicola Negri
Published: August 1, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!