Moritz von Oswald and Max Loderbauer are pretty well established and well respected players by now, but even so, they must hardly believe their luck that they’ve managed to pull Tony Allen into their trio for this album. On Sounding Lines, Allen adds trademark rhythmic flourishes to the electronics we are used to, with remarkable results. On Honest Jon’s.
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Apparently Robin dismissed this one as being “too Laurie” so here I am, hoovering up his dregs under the table like a grizzled, obedient dog. I guess it really isn’t psych enough for our Robz, he loves his psych reviews so keep ‘em coming Clint.
Enough character assassination, on to this record from a group that has undergone a very drastic change this time round. The Moritz von Oswald Trio’s rhythm section has been switched up from electroacoustic technoer Vladislav Delay to none other than Afrika ‘70 drummer and partial inventor of what we call ‘afrobeat’ Tony Allen. It’s a crazy change for a group whose sound runs closer to dub techno jams than funky good times grooves, but then Allen has worked within electronic things in the past, and it shows. He manages to keep the beat straight and just about driving enough, infusing the easygoing 4-to-the-floor rhythmic backbone with fluid, subtle fills.
Von Oswald and Max Loderbauer form the electronic ensemble here, coaxing little thumps and restrained tones, deliberately letting the drumkit guide the tracks and keeping flashy, saturated sounds to a minimum. Take ‘Sounding Lines 6’ for example, where Allen is playing a decidedly Fela beat with just a couple of percussive synth lines to accompany. That’s probably as funky as it gets on here, with most of the tracks either taking a dubbier slant (1, 2, 8) or tailing off entirely (track 5 being slightly unnecessary). Mixing credits come from Ricardo Villalobos so there’s a name.
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- Sounding Lines by Moritz von Oswald Trio
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