Centered around Michael Moser and Werner Dafeldecker’s keening interest in the nexus between composition and improvisation, Polwechsel have steadfastly interrogated this landscape for 11 or 12 years now, evolving with each document to help define the current state of European improvisation.Read
With a long term preoccupation in structural tactics (subtle shifts in density, drawn out stasis) the current line up, enrolling saxophonist John Butcher and percussionists Burkhard Beins and Martin Brandlmayr, expands on their signature and rigorously spartan sound to blur the boundaries between individual instruments. Their current performances are nuanced and subtle. A group sound of slowly revolving patterns of delicate harmonics floats around the monolithic hush of metallic friction from the 2 percussionists. Dafeldecker’s bass and Moser’s cello sketch out subtle and narcoleptic patterns with a kind of refined concentration. Butcher remains in a background of sorts; if I hadn’t seen him play so often I might be hard pushed to know what his contributions where, over the occasional rippling of sax feedback. But knowing his material, it’s easy to spot how considered its application it is here, how much it contributes a delicate urgency. Slow moving and majestic, it’s an intensely concentrated sound, wrung with great artistry, restrain and passion from 5 dedicated and concentrated minds.