Review: The Sound Projector

by Hazel Lee
Published 8 october 2014

Steady, feline and patient, the instrumental music of SPLICE developing here dances a careful dance. The fat overload grunt of the bass walk supports the well-distributed short bursts of the other interventions. Then a passage opens up ahead, everything clears up, and concludes.

The multiple voices playing these powerful pieces never seem to dissolve into chaos, which could be the “usual” challenge with instruments, about such a musical direction : was it, one day, something coming from jazz ? It sounds to me like vignettes, discrete pictures of a momentary cohesion, vibrant with life, and concerned with everyone having his fair share of space. They do, and when they do, they manage to articulate a choral speech. Some of these vignettes could even irritate one’s eagerness but listen on : you never know whether there’s a tiger to ride, so let’s hide behind a bush for a while, and wait. The subtle clicks and cuts knitting through the sustained instrumental phonemes draws an odoriferous landscape, with plants, and less static presences, harmonically. This is not jazz music; only, jazz idioms that are utilized, contributing a vibe. Slow and considered, it swells up to dense masses, yet displaying with a sense of control. Snake-like horns are developing spirals along with their ghosts, or at least shadows. Move the lighting, and the shadows multiply in chanting loops. It’s really all about control, and if so, power : the edge of an abyss, and retreat. Or simply, cut.

Still the rich, creamy bass droning provides the animal ground upon which duelling percussions and bouncing electronic signals can develop and swiftly fight, invoking past forms (say “free jazz”) and putting said forms under another lighting, pointing toward a similar climax-oriented region, here swarming with updated electro-parasites. Never exploding, but letting the vibrant forces at work show.