Mário Costa with Marc Ducret & Benoit Delbeq: Oxy Patina

Glenn Astarita By

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Nascent Portuguese drummer Mário Costa fronts a wily and power-packed supergroup with the addition of French musicians Marc Ducret and keyboardist Benoit Delbecq on this audiophile quality album that could also be useful for demoing high-end stereo equipment. More importantly, the kaleidoscopic disposition of this trio spans pensive intricacies, booming cadenzas, otherworldly spatial effects, swirling ostinatos and deep grooves, entrenched in a continual progression of unanticipated moves.

Costa occasionally stretches out but often peppers the soloists via his slick stickwork. On "Ant Dance" the musicians jive to a slowly moving outside-the-box motif with Delbecq's electronics-based noise-shaping maneuvers and Ducret's closed-hand single note lines and stinging licks, leading to an unusual primary theme and bizarre advancements. Yet the band executes haunting polytonal mosaics and delicate melodic content, as a steady-state of structural components seemingly evolve out of nowhere amid ferocious three-way dialogues, and odd-metered flurries, regulated with imploding characteristics.

An elevated state of consciousness is etched into the artists' vernacular, complete with soaring take-offs and smooth landings. Indeed, the seamless melding of Costa's impressive compositional frameworks enveloped within the omnipresent improvisational element works wonders throughout. Whereas, "Illusion" is an ascending piece that starts with contemplative balladry, transitioning into brazen guitar and piano workouts and variances in pitch, where the band lightly deconstructs the primary melody. Here, Costa's brushwork swerves the trio into some jazzy inclinations, followed by "Patina 1," featuring the drummer's extended soloing and colorific cymbal patterns. Ultimately, there's no telling what solar system this threesome will end up if they choose to realign their bright stars on subsequent efforts.

Track Listing

Pigmented; Ant Dance; Forest Marble; Erosion; Aluminum Foil; Liquid Stone; Illusion; Patina I; Abismo.


Mario Costa: drums, electronics; Marc Ducret: guitar; Benoit Delbecq: piano, analog synthesizer; prepared piano, electronics.

Album information

Title: Oxy Patina | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records


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