Of Magnitude and Measure | Cremaster & Angharad Davies ‘pluie fine’

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Cremaster, the duo of Alfredo Costa Monteiro and Ferran Fegas, team up with London based violinist Angharad Davies for the latest release on Potlach, pluie fine. Prepared over a two-year span and employing prepared violin, ‘electro-acoustic devices ’and various other electronic means, the trio composes three tracks of magnitude and measure.

Though the album and track titles refer to variants of the French word for drizzle the qualities of sound they conjure do not translate that.  It strays from such a vocabulary and instead draws biological parallels to something more humid than light.  Something constant, dense and vaporous brought on by an oppressive heat.

The opening track, embrun, introduces us to the swelling mournful tones Davies renders with her bow and strings, which bookend the work, paired alongside coalescing billows of electronic pulses and crackles. The introduction into the work is something quite stunning, though slowly the fabric rips, dismantled by vibrant feedback outbursts and electronic fissures, which are used extensively throughout.  This configuration is a standout to an imposing composition.

bruine, doesn’t hesitate starting off, it’s aggressive.  Quickly we become enmeshed in throbbing electrical manifestations. Now the violin never seems to lose its touch with the strings, being taken over by short quick repetitive measures.  These inhabit and corrode the remainder of the track, while Fages and Monteiro circuitry impose their emissions, piercing and scraping the setting until everything is inevitably frayed.

With the final track, crachin, as throughout this disc we can align ourselves with previous traces of where they have been, only to be hoodwinked at the moment of encounter.  The trio never falls into an easy footing, articulating how well this group works.

Having been already taken by the work of Angharad Davies through her contributions to the Another Timbre imprint and the solo and duo work of Fegas and Monteiro, this release is quite an accomplishment for the artists involved, as all three are in top form.

Mathieu Ruhlmann Written by:

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