Mike Lorenz: speak between

Dan McClenaghan BY

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Mike Lorenz: speak between
A first impression: Guitarist Mike Lorenz has created, on Speak Between, a sound that runs in a parallel to some of the albums released by drummer Paul Motian, in his teamings with guitarist Bill Frisell and saxophonist Joe LovanoIt Should Have Happened A Long Time Ago (ECM Records, 1984) and Jack Of Clubs (Soul Note, 1984). These are sets that allowed the same freedom Frisell applied in his early albums under his own name, in the creation soundscapes and luminescent atmospheres for Motian's concepts.

Lorenz uses the trio format here, and primarily throughout his discography. He shapes an alternate universe of sound—reverberant, glowing, eerie and harmonically rich—and his trio mates, bassist Robinson Morse and drummer Kevin Ripley, aid and abet the conceptual molding via a full-of-the unexpected rhytmic aesthetic, similar to what is heard on albums by guitarists Jakob Bro and Ben Monder.

Some artists tell stories; some create different parallel dimensions. Lorenz and company do both, leaning things toward the "new dimensions" side. A big factor in the success of the sound is Lorenz' pedal effects and after recording studio manipulations, seasonings—sometimes subtle, sometimes overt—that create unique between-the-lines sounds of an accessible free jazz approach. Thoughts that come to mind with Speak Between: untethered surf rock guitar, metallic Gregorian chants, wandering folksy ruminations, a UFO hovering a hundred yard over the surface of Earth...

A spin through Lorenz' previous discs reveals an artist with a relentless and finely focused vision; a guy who does his own thing, and advances that thing with each new recording.

Track Listing

Auto Swell; The Curse of Memory; "static variable"; Slouchtro; Movement; "shambles"; "i felt a crumb"; Devoutro; "crumbles"; Fort Worth; There's Light Somewhere.


Mike Lorenz: guitar + effects; Robinson Morse: bass; Kevin Ripley, drums + percussion.

Album information

Title: Speak Between | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Self Produced

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