Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Nobject: X-rayed

7

Nobject: X-rayed

By

Sign in to view read count
Nobject: X-rayed
This double CD presents the final date in Lodz of a short Polish tour by a multinational co-operative trio which goes under the moniker Nobject. The band comprises Swedish reedman Martin Kuchen on saxophones, Catalan drummer Vasco Trilla and Polish acoustic bass guitarist Rafal Mazur. Although X-Rayed is the outfit's first release, the trio had toured previously in 2018, and Küchen and Mazur recorded before on Baza (NoBusiness, 2018), while Küchen and Trilla collaborated as part of Barcelona band Phicus' Sumpflegende (Fundacja Słuchaj, 2019). All of which means it is a unit rooted in fertile common ground, cultivated to perfection.

Unlike some of Küchen's other projects, such as his variably-sized Angles ensembles and All Included, this threesome works without charts. The four pieces range from seven to 31-minutes in length and portray a group in complete empathy. By this juncture they'd obviously established that their most successful gambit features Küchen's drawn out yowls over various types of squally underpinning, and this is a tactic they return to time and again.

Küchen wears his heart on his sleeve and, although the political subtext which is a element of some of his work is absent, his choked wails cut to the quick. Even if he uses distortion and false fingering, which evoke the cries of birds and animals, there's something raw, affecting and essentially human about his sound. That's never more so than when he adds vocalized overtones to his already anguished howls as he does on "The Flood That Never Came," where it seems he can no longer contain the distress he feels.

While it is Küchen's outpourings which grab the attention, the tolling interludes for bass and drums hold their own interest. Trilla is one of the most captivating young drummers on the European scene, equally adept at integrating his crisp accents and timbral interrogation into either rubato tapestries or clattery drive. Mazur's attractive woody buzzing growl meshes well with Trilla's percussive thickets, and the swooshes as his fingers graze the fingerboard often merge with Trilla's abrasions, making them less intrusive than is sometimes the case. Together he and Trilla keep matters at a controlled simmer, only occasionally sparking into a roiling boil as on "When Prophecy Fails." Even here, Küchen holds back and the end result is all the more powerful for it.

Other high points include the extemporized threnody between tenor and bass on "Malevolent Ghosts," and a passage showcasing percussion and untethered cymbals from Trilla on the same track. Then, after a cumulative start where tiny gestures vie with silence, the extended "The Flood That Never Came" negotiates an involving trajectory of peaks and troughs. Towards the end Küchen's split tones mingle with metallic scrapes in the sort of combination which invests even the textural exchanges with the emotional weight which characterizes this wonderful set.

The only curiosity is that it's a double album when the playing time would easily fit on a single CD.

Track Listing

When Prophecy Fails; Willfull Blindness; Malevolent Ghosts; The Flood That Never Came.

Personnel

Martin Küchen: sopranino, tenor saxophones; Rafał Mazur: acoustic bass guitar; Vasco Trilla: drums.

Album information

Title: X-rayed | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Fundacja Sluchaj

Comments


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Tags

More

Being Human
Lynne Arriale
Big Band Stories
Fredrik Nordström
Skyllumina
Ruth Goller

Popular

Compassion
Vijay Iyer
Jazz Hands
Bob James
Esengo
London Afrobeat Collective

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.