Trio Heinz Herbert: The Willisau ConcertBy
From the onset of the 18-minute opener "Granulare Liebe / LEI," it became clear that the trio was meticulously assembling a piece that would branch out into something much larger in scope as they worked through an abstract percussion vamp led by drummer Mario Hanni. It morphs into an intensifying and affectionately maddening sequence of mini-motifs, brushed with faint echoes and the music hall's natural reverb characteristics. Moving forward, the band ascends with quiet synth patterns, simmering cadences, ostinato grooves and Dominic Landolt's feverish distortion guitar phrasings. But the dynamic shifts a bit on the following track "Fragment Z / Brugguda," which resides somewhere in-between experimental ambient-electronica, minimalism and bizarre jazz rock stylizations, featuring the guitarist's scratchy fuzz-toned lines. And they add a cool piano-drums groove that comes out of nowhere, followed by ricocheting electronics. Bear in mind, these are structured works and not solely designed with free-floating improvisational metrics.
"Hyper Steps" is a curvy and rolling ballad driven by pianist Ramon Landolt's jazzy and daintily executed voicings, counterbalanced by a memorable hook. Yet "Heinz Steps" is launched with Dominic Landolt's Black Sabbath style shredding that dissipates into Ramon Landolt's softly textured effects, leading to an upbeat jazz vamp. However, they circle back around to a blitzkrieg modus operandi atop a buoyant pulse. Overall, this is one of those albums that separates itself from the proverbial pack and an unanticipated surprise that is nestled within one of those unrestricted musical zones that cannot be stereotyped or easily pigeonholed.
Granulare Liebe / LEI; Fragment Z / Brugguda; Hyper Down; Heinz Steps; Planet Cita K; Gumpi Ball.
Dominic Landolt: guitar, effects; Ramon Landolt: synth, samples, piano; Mario Hänni: drums, effects
Title: The Willisau Concert | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Intakt Records