480

Stade: Freewheel

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
The relationship between electronics and acoustic instruments has evolved since Miles Davis' groundbreaking Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1969), with artists continuing to manipulate technologies within their current environments. These lines are becoming increasingly blurred on recordings such as Opsvik and Jennings' A Dream I Used To Remember (Loyal Label, 2009) and Humcrush's Rest at Worlds End (Rune Grammofon, 2008).

Further proof of this techno-improv pandemic is witnessed in Stade's Freewheel, yet another brilliantly creative duo featuring keyboardist Pierre Audetat and drummer Christophe Calpini.

The duo creates infectious melodic sound-canvasses; industrial strength concoctions of music, rhythm, and noise with real and sampled sounds. Its meticulous compositions incorporate live manipulations with free-styling like hip-hop DJ turntablists. But the surprise here is how the duo interacts with three special guests who are no strangers to the edge: French trumpeter Erik Truffaz, Swiss harmonica master Gregoire Maret and New York guitarist Elliott Sharp.

The fifteen tracks alternate between Stade and each of the guests—starting with the ambient vibe of "Introscape," with its steady drum back-beat, static white noise, frosty keyboards and Truffaz's hushed trumpet mutations. Next is the copacetic "Sonatune," with Maret's harmonica floating against the airy backdrop as Stade improvises on the theme with gentle drumming and keyboards. On "Bats in the Car" the earth-quaking bass throbs with incessant syncopation as Sharpe's guitar twists, shouts and twangs a tune that might suggest a punk rebellion against noise control.

The guitar and trumpet, whether amplified or processed, would seem more natural foils for these electronic adventures, but it's Maret's unplugged axe that provides the more interesting texture, as his earthy harmonica fits comfortably with the processed sounds on tracks like "Retired Kinky Ballerines," where Stade lays down heavy hypnotic techno-dance rhythms.

The consistent bond in this pulsating machine is the minimalist ingenuity of Stade's music—taking simple melodies and ostinato patterns and injecting them with variety and attitude. "Black Parrot Arising"'s killer dance moves and its ultimate demise in "My Parrot Entombment" shows Stade's humor and flexibility in keeping the music fresh, making Freewheel a totally hip ride.

Track Listing: Introscape; Sonatine; Triceratops at Work; Bats In the Car; Black Parrot Arising; Stac eaux limpides; Freewheel; Midnight Summer Volcano; Retired Kinky Ballerines; West Virginia (Remix); Innercoast Whispers; My Parrot Entombment; Pluton Alltimes Hit; Horologi Forcasts; Echolalies.

Personnel: Pierre Audetat: sampler, keyboards; Christophe Calpini: sampler, drums; Erik Truffaz: trumpet:(1, 3, 6, 12, 14); Gregoire Maret: harmonica (2, 5, 7, 9, 11, 15); Elliot Sharp: guitar (4, 8, 10, 13).

Title: Freewheel | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Sub Rosa


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio CD/LP/Track Review Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Moment Frozen CD/LP/Track Review Moment Frozen
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Minor Step CD/LP/Track Review Minor Step
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 19, 2017
Read A Meeting Of Spirits CD/LP/Track Review A Meeting Of Spirits
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2017
Read First Light CD/LP/Track Review First Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 18, 2017
Read "Crop Circles" CD/LP/Track Review Crop Circles
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "Poetry from the Future" CD/LP/Track Review Poetry from the Future
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 5, 2017
Read "Get Up And Go" CD/LP/Track Review Get Up And Go
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 6, 2017
Read "Rise Of Orion" CD/LP/Track Review Rise Of Orion
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 15, 2016
Read "Unfolding In Tempo" CD/LP/Track Review Unfolding In Tempo
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: October 6, 2016
Read "Fly Or Die" CD/LP/Track Review Fly Or Die
by John Sharpe
Published: July 10, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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