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Alternative & Indie - Released March 22, 2019 | FPE Records

Cycle of Restoration captures an hour-long live improvisational recording from Detroit's venerable Trinosophes venue by boundary-less drummer William Hooker, upright bassist/electronicist Joel Peterson, and trumpeter/electronicist Mark Kirschenmann. For the purpose of this release, the performance is divided into eight titled sections. The intro, "Unpolished Diamonds," commences with a long, slow simmer that explores both atmosphere and space, marking out discovered terrains with tonal and textural exploration. Other than his gloriously disciplined cymbal washes, Hooker's drums aren't initially heard all that much. The foreground is claimed by Kirschenmann's horn and layered, staggered, electronic treatments for the first 17 minutes. Peterson plays arco not so much as an accompanist, but as a texturalist who underscores the sparse harmonic inquiries made by the horn player with depth and dimension. In the second section, "Voluntary Realization," Hooker's shimmering cymbals and muted kick drum add presence and balance yet speak economically. Kirschenmann's horn takes on a Jon Hassell-esque electronic patina that arrives in shards and melodic waves. Peterson adds rhythm and harmony -- albeit abstractly -- as "Bridge" gets underway, playing pizzicato and arco. Hooker gets more strident, using force even when playing single notes, and eventually becomes more active as Peterson explores the contrabass' middle register with his bow. About five minutes in, washes of electronic sound join the bassist in playing a hypnotic, repetitive phrase, while Hooker's cymbals begin to sing with punctuation from his snare, hi-hat, and floor toms. The tension is at once nearly unbearable and sublime as musicality gradually asserts itself. The blurry, digitally treated, pastoral trumpet phrases become songlike near the section's end, widening the musicality. Rolling tom-toms and gorgeously harmonic -- if slightly dissonant -- bass introduce "Magnets" before the intensity ratchets up with Peterson's single, circular bowed phrase and electronics meeting Hooker's pointed accents, foreboding fills, and occasional crashing exclamations. The trio reaches fluid motion by the time they enter "Panchromatics I," a funky, abstract, post-Agharta Miles-influenced groover filled with waves of distortion, vamps, and continually shifting and time-stretching drum work from Hooker, all of which leads into a soaring, abstract dissonance on "Panchromatics II." "Ethnic Variations" is madly dissonant and exploratory as all three players listen and improvise simultaneously; there's a groove, kind of, but more than that there are explosions of tone, color, and texture that are resolved in "Astral Debris," a powerful, emotive, resonant section where Kirschenmann deploys his trumpet in growls, bleats, smatters, and smears as Peterson works through a divergent canvas of powerful sonics and Hooker furiously attenuates his sounds to guide the flow of energy until the work explodes -- then dissembles into silence. While only repeated listening to Cycle of Restoration will allow the listener to grasp all that this performance has to offer, it's worth the effort because they'll eventually get caught up in the emotion, creativity, and grace this trio display. ~ Thom Jurek

Alternative & Indie - Released September 8, 2017 | FPE Records

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