This is the latest in a series of Metal Moves recordings by Iceland based percussionist/metalsmith Steve Hubback. This one features his working group with percussionists Larsen and Noordhoek. As usual, all the metallic instruments were hand forged by Hubback. This gives the group both an identity and a unique sound.
The opening track, Fire and Steel
, finds drums and percussion played over a live recording of Hubback blacksmithing and welding his instruments. Interspersed throughout are the sounds of grinders, hammers, crackling fire, welders, and water quenching burning metal. Jardin de Illumination
starts out with ringing bell sounds and gongs. The music is slow and deliberate, building in intensity as instruments are added. The sound is reminiscent of Indonesian Gamelan music. Swelling gong sounds open Nine Lamps
with arpeggiated metallic percussion ringing out on top, ebbing and flowing like the tide. The music builds in intensity only to give way to skittering percussion sounds moving over long blown horn tones.Random Thoughts
features dreamy gamelan gong-like sounds and chimes. The atmosphere evokes a dark, metallic rain forest. The full gamelan effect fills A Charmed Life
. Deep gongs keep the slow rhythmic pace, while metallic xylophones play on top. The pace soon quickens and you can almost see the shadow puppets dancing across the soundscape. Montparnasse
features a funky rhythm base played out on various ringing metals.
The title track, Three Wishes
, is an ethereal track that sounds like a fantastic wind-up music box. The repeating rhythms and melodies are hauntingly hypnotic and soothing. This atmosphere is carried over to Shaman From Seoul
, where ringing chimes and rattles conjure up spirits, while Under-Ground
is low, moaning gongs that recede, leaving the air still and waiting.
Hubback has stated that the ideas for many of his creations come to him in his dreams, and it is fitting, as much of the music here has a dream-like quality. With Larsen and Noordhoek he has found two percussionists of the same vision, able to tap into the spiritual wealth of his marvelous instruments. This is Metal Moves finest recording to date. Highly recommended.