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Album Review

Martin Küchen, Agustí Fernandez, Zlatko Kaučič: The Steps That Resonate


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Martin Küchen, Agustí Fernandez, Zlatko Kaučič: The Steps That Resonate
Let's test the laws of thermodynamics with free improvisation music. The first law of thermodynamics states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another. This law is sublimely displayed during the live performance by Martin Kuchen, Agusti Fernandez, and Zlatko Kaućić at the BCMF Festival in Slovenia, in 2021.

While the Spanish pianist Fernandez and drummer & percussionist Kaučič have toured and recorded together—check out their duo Sonic Party (Not Two, 2018) and their collaboration with Evan Parker on Diversity (Not Two, 2018)—this is their first recorded outing with the Swede Küchen; the saxophonist, probably best known for his work in the various Angles ensembles, the Trespass Trio with Per Zanussi and Raymond Strid, and with the Landæus Trio, is equally comfortable playing inside or outside music, composed or free; like his partners, he is a dynamo. That is obvious from the crash which opens this set. The thermodynamics proof occurs as each player transfers the charged particles from their instrument to the others. Fernandez plies the insides of his piano, Kaučič activates his drum kit and objects, and Küchen sets in motion extended saxophone techniques, inspiring change without a mitigation of energy.

As for the next law of thermodynamics, hot things always cool unless you do something to stop them; the trio does allow for space throughout. They seem to pause to take stock of their creation before diving headfirst back into their improvised generator. Which verifies the hypothesis that entropy of a closed system can only increase. Class dismissed.


Martin Kuchen: saxophone; Agusti Fernandez: piano; Zlatko Kaućić: drums.

Album information

Title: The Steps That Resonate | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Not Two Records

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