Review from Foxy Digitalis

Part Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides “Bataille De Battle”

Flautist Kelly Jones performance veers seamlessly from Anthony Braxton styled free playing to a haunted elongated droning style akin to Isnaj Dui. Pascal Nichols, the percussive element of the duo, splatters sporadically in a fractured rainfall, faintly disrupting proceedings to begin with, then forcefully propelling the musical structure into steadier rhythms. This primitive structure is forced in amplified rackets via free jazz techniques and improvisation, evocative of artists Chris Corsano and Alex Neilson.

Track one has a fire driven narrative that twists and turns uncontrollably, sometimes settling on a flute laden exploration, at others drifting into percussive abandonment derived from some awkward discovery. Both players seem slightly at odds at times, but skilfully find an appropriate medium to showcase their improvised abilities. This unity, or twinned understanding, manifests itself in bold colours on the second movement. The piece is rooted with wavering tones and overlapping harmonics that operate as sensual, yet coarse burlap dragged over rocky terrain. The third and shortest piece is an abrasive scratchy session that gathers a fierce momentum over ear-splitting flute. The ferocious execution reminded me of my recent experience with label mates the Directing Hand. This changes the mood to a darker, harsher psyched affair which unravels to a brief silence before the forth and closing piece.

The album is concluded with a haunting rendition of an abandoned ghost-ship of creaking boughs and whistling rigs. The sound is a combination of the loose improv of the opening track to the more self contained and complimentary second. Vocals moan and grunt in an exhalation of exhaustion. Longer drones make way for some exquisite swells of mysterious resonance that veer steadily towards a military (yet sporadic) drumming that excels to aural magic. There is a definite sense of freedom, expression and freshness to this panoramic record. Influences range from David Bowie to Skull Disco, with this in mind you know to expect the unordinary. The duo, with only a limited instrumental pallet, manages to create a seemingly boundless landscape that one helplessly falls for.

8/10 — Peter Taylor, 3rd September 2008