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The meeting of four skilled improvising musicianstwo from Lisbon, Portugal, and two from San Franciscois cause for celebration on these nine ephemeral pieces. Surprisingly, Our Faceless Empire is not a live date; instead, it was made in an Oakland, California studio in 2006. By the very nature of this session, an audienceor any outside noise or distractionmight take away from the overall aura of its sounds.
The meeting emphasizes both the acoustic and the electric. Portuguese players Ernesto Rodrigues (viola) and Manuel Mota (electric guitar) join Californians Ernesto Diaz-Infante (steel-string acoustic guitar) and Gino Robair's electrified surfaces and voltage experiments.
The tracks accentuate the quartet's interplay, shying away from the all too common use of tension-and-release and, instead, relying more on a calming equanimity of texture, and sometimes making sound for sound's sake. The players tend to pulse, allow for energies to cycle through and opt for responding to each others' thoughts.
With sounds are almost more visual than aural, Our Faceless Empire sparks the imagination by conjuring forms, colors and perceptions of touch rather than sound. Perhaps it is the energy fields created by the intersection of the acoustic and electricor, maybe, the Portuguese and the North Americans.
Track Listing: Nosso Rosto Empire; Luftzucker; Mi Conde, el odiosas; O, Bursty Bruegel; Intervalos de confianza; Vida de lujo; Emético Labilty; Um Lilburn em Flovilla; A Cartesian Blaspheme.
Personnel: Ernesto Diaz-Infante: steel-string acoustic guitar; Manuel Mota: electric guitar; Gino Robair: energized surfaces, voltage made audible; Ernesto Rodrigues: viola.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.