Review: Chain D.L.K.

by Vito Camarretta
Published 20 August 2014

The obscure abrasive bass, the dragging on drums and the menacing saxophone vents on 'Dust Devil', the opening track of this astonishing release which got recorded in 2012, premiered at the 2013 EFG London Jazz Festival and released on late 2013, even if it recently reached my desk as a part of the pack of records coming from University of Huddersfield's CeNeReM - The Centre For Research In New Music -, could evoke some stuff from adjoining stylistical fields like the obscure trip-hop by Sofa Surfers or some excellent outputs by Dj Krush, but the following tracks of 'Silent Spoke' render the elegant sonorities that this quartet masterfully explores by drawing elements from doom metal, free jazz and electronic wells. Cymbals and winds keep on saturating the sonic sphere like an odourless poison gas, a subtle trepidation shines through the faint electronic blanket of their music, curvy stretches of dark tonal roads got slowly climbed by trumpet and clarinet with occasional accelerations, propelled by octopus-like drumming over broken grounds such as on the astonishing 'Mobile Piece' makes this listening experience really adventurous, while hanging in the balance between haunting delicate beauty and obscure billows. The prowess by Slice in feeding this catchy musical procession got easily explained by the background of their members: the name of Canadian composer and performer Pierre Alexandre Tremblay (bass guitar, electronics), founding member of the no-tv collective, which preaches a life without tv-sets, should be known by all those ones who follow my reviews for a release on Empreintes DIGITALes I introduced and is strictly connected to University of Huddersfield where he teaches Composition and Improvisation; the name and the style by Norwich-born Dave Smith (drums, percussion), one of the co-founder of Loop Collective, is mainly known for his work with traditional Sabar drumming from The Gambia, Afro-Blues group Juju and Robert Plant presents the Sensational Space Shifters; French saxophonist and clarinetist Robin Fincker (tenor saxophone, clarinet, guitar amp), who also co-founded Loop Collective, got described as a dynamic "project instigator and in-demand sideman" and such a reputation got confirmed by the impressive number of projects he belongs; last but not least, British musician Alex Bonney (trumpet, trumpophone, electronics) is a leg of a critically acclaimed improvising duo with bassist Dave Kane, often appears as a sideman in several London-based bands (Brass Mask, World Sanguine Report, Nostalgia 77 and many more) and works as a producer and mix engineer for several record labels. Highly recommended listening experience!