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Album Review

BLOOP: Proof


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BLOOP: Proof
The electro-acoustic duo BLOOP—trumpeter Lina Allemano plus the live-processing and effects of Mike Smith—focuses on free improvisation and extended techniques. Ms. Allemano can also be heard in multiple contexts from contemporary jazz to psychedelic music and free jazz, chamber jazz, and in solo performance. This disc is a simultaneous release with Vegetables (Luma Records, 2021) by the Lina Allemano Four. Rather than say she has multiple personalities, let's agree there is a chimeric thing happening here and much of it can be heard on Proof.

What sounds like studio manipulation and editing is actually the duo laying down tracks in real time with no overdubs. That previous sentence bears repeating. The two trumpets heard on several tracks are feedback loops, no Teo Macero cut-and-splice needed here. "Enchantments" opens with slivers of electronics plus bells, before flowing into a sound similar to that of Jon Hassell's explorations into Fourth World music, that eerie and echoey ether realm. Allemano, a maven of extended technique, conjures sounds one might hear from the German improviser Axel Dorner. "Decanted" contains that micro-breath approach with mutes which gets Smith's processing much like that of Christof Kurzmann's ppooll electronics. One trumpet becomes two plus echoes. The effect is stunning. The pair are brimming with ideas throughout and the music, although looped, never repeats itself. Maybe that is because Allemano, the jazz and classically trained trumpeter, never abandons beauty for freedom here. "Oracle Of Chanterelle" sounds like an echoey trumpet chamber choir with Allemano and Dave Douglas trading lines. "The Nestlings (Metamorphosis)" opens with processed whistling echoing off spacey canyons before breaking down into noteless breaths and outré feedback. The duet Smith creates on "Cremini Oracle" soothes and almost tranquilizes the ear with the sound of trumpet on trumpet, which is contrasted by the trumpet blurting scratches that emanate from "The Summoning" with its flutter and pops. BLOOP might be the most conforming nonconformist music heard this year.

Track Listing

Enchantments; Decanted; Recanting; Oracle of Chanterelle; Actual Bloop; The Nestlings (Metamorphosis); Cremini Oracle; The Summoning.


Additional Instrumentation

Mike Smith: live-processing / effects

Album information

Title: Proof | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Lumo Records

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