Christian Marclay & Mats Gustafsson – “Link” (Smalltown Supersound, 2019)

Christian Marclay & Mats Gustafsson - Link - available from Honest Jons now!

“Link” is released on “Smalltown Supersound” label. Album was recorded by Christian Marclay (turntables) and Mats Gustafsson (live electronics & slide, tenor and baritone saxes). Two talented and featured jazz masters are combining together different music styles. Both improvisers have their own and unique sound, virtuosic and splendid playing technique, bright and inspiring style. Wide musical knownledge, utilisation of extended playing techniques, the synthesis of innovations and traditions of avant-garde jazz, modern point of view – all these elements also are very important basics of their music. The music is based on the main elements of avant-garde jazz – the newest innovations of experimental jazz, main basics of avant-garde jazz and free improvisation are gently connected to expressive and nervous modern jazz and the sounds of electronics and contemporary academical music. Acoustics and electronics gently go along together. Musicians create the relations between contemporary academical and experimental music, electronics, academic avant-garde, free improvisation and the basics of avant-garde and experimental jazz.

“Link” is full of energy, drive and sound experiments. Both improvisers are getting on ambitious experiments, adventurous free improvisations, wild riffs and striking culminations. Active and dynamic mood is leading on all the compositions – it’s changed by minimalistic samples, synthetic tunes of electronics, special effects or lyrical contemplations. The contrasts, bright and individual episodes, moods and characters are brought all together to one place. That finally makes an effort to expressive, moving and thrilling sound. Improvisers are experimenting on all fields of musical language. That especially touches an instrumental section – musicians are trying new and extended playing techniques by combining them together with specific, provocative, home-made, experimental and innovative ways of playing. Timbral experiments is another one important basic – musicians are searching to new sounds, strange timbres and special effects by expanding the zone of traditional sound. They’re using their rich and expressive musical language, wide musical knownledge and impressive virtuosity for that. The compositions of this album are somewhere between experimental and avant-garde jazz, free improvisation and the main tendencies of contemporary academical music and electronics. This interesting stylistic synthesis is highly explored during the compositions – musicians are making rare, exotic, extended and original stylistic allusions to various jazz streams. The tunes related to bebop, post bop, hard bop, mainstream, contemporary jazz or any other style are heard frequently in the compositions. There are two different sides of this album – the first one is created by Mats Gustafsson and based on frantic, aggressive and innovative Scandinavian avant-garde jazz. the roots of 1960’s American avant-garde jazz and some tunes of modern jazz styles. The second side is based on synthetic, modern and unusual sounds of turntables and electronics, basically made by Christian Marclay and live electronics by Mats Gustafsson. All these elements are gently combined together to one place – the music has innovative, bright and evocative sound. Saxophones and live electronics by Mats Gustafsson make the base of melody line and create a bright modern background. Aggressive, thrilling and expressive melodies, furious sharp and blowing riffs, wild striking blow outs, passionate, charming and transcendental passages who meet subtle research of timbres, expansion of technical abilities or fascinating sonoristic experiments and special effects – all these elements are gently fused together in Mats Gustafsson’s saxophones improvisations. It has hypnotising and effective sound. Improviser is using the live electronics to make the pattern more colorful, illustrative and modern. Computer and electronic devices sounds, synth tunes, special effects, imitations and alterations, ambient, drone, glitch, loops, sonic system’s experiments – that’s just one little part which is used to make original and modern sound. Turntables by Christian Marclay have a remarkable and innovative sound. All his music is based on sound experiments, special effects, interesting timbres, exotic combos, synthesized sounds, alterated tunes and the other electronics which make an exciting, bright and evocative sound. The music of this album has a vital, awakening and modern sound.


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