This European quartet presents a study in striking contrasts. It's sort of an all-inclusive type foray where psychedelic guitar parts chime with spacey overtones, modern jazz and free-form expansionism. The primary differentiator pertains to the band's stylistic mode of operations via cunning arrangements and energized improvisational segments. However, melody is a prime focus and sprinkled throughout the program amid some tender moments along the way.
Saxophonist Thomas Erdmann possesses a velvety tone, yet is not sheepish when it comes to turning up the heat. With introspective dialogues executed within various passages, the band punches out a forceful sequence of events, building tension and creating climactic opuses, sometimes laced with portentous noise-shaping interludes. One of many captivating musical components is the integration of chamber-rock that offers an austere point of view to complement ethereal abstracts and layered parts. The musicians also delve into several hot and heavy burnouts and occasionally reside within a nebulous position, seated between structure and improvisation.
On "How To Catch A Cloud," the multifarious journey continues with avant musings and asymmetrical pulses, fused by drummer Samuel Rohrer's fractured patterns and Erdmann's loose-groove sax lines. But guitarist Frank Möbus's distortion and effects-based treatments cast a spell, hearkening notions of dour circumstances in concert with his band-mates' intersecting sounds. Hence, the music is a cohesive alignment of multicolored paradoxes. In addition, Mobus's grunge-like phrasings form a bond with Erdmann's understated sax choruses and cellist Vincent Courtois's fluid bottom-end on "No River But Trees." Here, the quartet outlines a harrowing soundscape with cordial implications then elevate the pitch to include jazz-rock vamps and semi-free passages.
Besides the musicians' inventiveness, the big picture is rounded out by the enticing compositions that generate staying power, when considering subsequent listens. And it's an attainable endeavor because the quartet keenly bridges the gap between several musical forms, yet more importantly, projects a distinct group-centric mindset that yields gratifying results.