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Markus Eichenberger & Daniel Studer: Suspended

Glenn Astarita By

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Here, two prominent and well-traveled Swiss improvisers, Markus Eichenberger (clarinets) and Daniel Studer (double bass) align their imaginations by exploring minimalist and microtonal trajectories while using space as an additive. Moreover, the duo attains synergy via largely, restrained dialogues. The musicians' delicate approach intimates the power of suggestion, where they can lull you into a trance or raise the pitch on pieces that may also intimate self-analyzation processes vis terse exchanges. As deft expressionism enacted with choice notes play a major part in the duo's chemistry.

The musicians' rather humble articulations are often used as sound-sculpting mechanisms. But they occasionally up the ante by injecting dashes of angst, where Studer mimics Eichenberger with creaky and rough-hewn arco-lines. Indeed, they demonstrate their ability to second-guess each other's next move, regardless of tempo or momentum.

At times, Studer mixes up his attack with staccato phrasings and poignant undercurrents as Eichenberger launches blustery choruses and succinctly enacted whimsical statements. And on the program's lengthiest track (10:56) "Listening Sideways," the artists move forward with stunted progressions amid a stoic musical climate. Nonetheless, they delve into stark vistas, spiced with ample breathing room to execute a quietly penetrating modus operandi along with an aggregation of dips and spikes.

On "Aiming Anew," they incorporate gruff exchanges with climactic mini-motifs, heightened by Studer's resonating delivery that morphs into a question and answer type series of developments with his partner's angular free-jazz gait. Overall, it's an endeavor linked with bursts of firepower and ever-so-subtle musings to instill a variety of unlikely contrasts and highly experimental discourses.

Track Listing: Walking Harshly; Pausing Reluctantly; Staying Numbly; Glancing Loudly; Listening Sideways; Gliding; Upwards; Aiming Anew.

Personnel: Markus Eichenberger: clarinet & bassclarinet; Daniel Studer: bass.

Title: Suspended | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Hat Hut Records

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