The newly reactivated FMP label has made some very strong contributions of late, and this trio date is among them. It conjures memories of the label’s late 1960 glory days, replete with all the timbral intrigue, spatial shifts and fire that made FMP releases the innovative historical documents they were.
Despite the fact that this is a trio, the size of the group is never overly apparent. In “Handpicked”, to cite only one example, we could be listening to a quintet or sextet, so complete is each musician’s handling of register and timbre. Bass might cross into alto territory and vice versa, keeping each moment fresh. Hans Schneider’s bass playing is particularly invigorating here as he leaps registers with ease and skill, his arco full but sweet and somehow transparent. Achim Krämer’s drumming, or, rather, percussion work, is supportive without ever being overbearing, usually erring on the side of extreme delicacy. Often, in quieter moments, it becomes difficult to tell exactly who is responsible for each sound, and this is how it should be in improvised situations such as these.
This is not to suggest that any lack of individuality is in evidence. On the appropriately named “Brushes”, Krämer’s brushes dominate each gradually unfolding sonic event, Stefan Keune making his voice heard with hollow pops, honks, smears, and blood-and-guts rasps until the track’s sudden and immensely effective end.
Each piece, most relatively brief, is a bird’s nest of constant change, an uncompromising bastion of meter less exploration toward the center of each sound. By album’s conclusion, on which Keune’s roars and shrieks have subsided to stream-of-conscious whimpers, a real sense of journeying has occurred. It is the closest to a conventional trio track on the disc, Schneider maintaining something approximate to the bass’ usual range and Krämer playing traps in more or less the usual manner, albeit without any sense of regular meter. After the many shifts and juxtapositions throughout, the track is surprisingly static, especially the bass part, which ends on a gorgeous drone; it’s perfect end to an intense but rewarding listen.
(Marc Medwin, Cadence)