This live sound recorded at a Belgian venue vividly transfers to disc, augmenting the dual percussionist-backed quartet's investigative mechanics amid crashing cadenzas, moments of quietude, and multilayered formulations. Featuring eminent Belgian pianist Fred Van Hove and vibraphonist Els Vandeweyer on the front end, the improvisational format yields a democratic approach as the musicians generally operate from the same temporal plane atop bristling asymmetrical movements and a polytonal soundstage.
The artists' lucid creative faculties shine radiantly on "H2," as Van Hove kicks matters into high gear with his swarming chord clusters and flourishing dynamics, brashly shaded by the percussionists' smacking and dabbing attack. The quartet casts a menacing scenario via scurrying patterns and undulating passages, where Vandeweyer provides concise tonal treatments over the top. With a few seismic implosions, they also lighten the energy quotient during the bridge, where the pianist gently darts across the eighty-eights, generating a form of rhythmic counterpoint as he glides an object across his piano strings. Thus do a few bizarre or unearthly treatments spin yet another contrast, as they close it out by revisiting the intro and wind it down to a near whisper. Indeed, the musicians carve out an antithesis to the norm, as they do their utmost to integrate instantaneous compositional elements into the fervidly executed improvisational schema.
Personnel: Els Vandeweyer: vibraphone; Fred Van Hove: piano, accordion; Paul
Lovens: percussion; Martin Blume: percussion.