eRikm & Michel Doneda – Razine (CD Monotype Records)


Three ambiguous pieces of inner mind visits of which the outcome of the experience of listening heavily relies on the listeners ability to adapt to experiences beyond comfort. The atmosphere is broody and heavy, as if the air is pregnant with something that stays hidden for the complete album. The places the soundscapes takes the listener to, are places with not much comfort or shelter but because of the absence of that, it enables them to enjoy beautiful, strange and radiant far views. Doneda on sax for sure leads and forms the marker for the rest to follow. eRikm operates turntables and electronics, and the effects he is achieving with playing snippets of old records creates some magic together with the sax howls from the former. These improv sessions are perhaps not groundshaking, the lengthy explorations are paying tribute to the ‘endless’ sessions that were so typical when this genre started to find fertile soil in the early seventies. Typical for Doneda is the sensation of something mechanical, as if we are part of an artistic industrial workshop. Overall complex might be an applicable term to use, with having parts that resemble free jazz, musique concrete and improv to forms inbetween that might be more appealing to the unaware listener, but those might have only existed in my mind during listening. 

This is a live registration from 2009 at the Centre National de Création Musicale d'Albi Tarn, France and that sometimes is handy as the audience makes it clear a track has ended. Otherwise one could get easily lost in the evolving labyrinth of sounds, and along with those typical silences and intentional pauses in order to be sure the track really did end, the audience waits with hesitation before making clear their appreciation.

This work is based on the legacy of visionary Russian poet Velimir Khlebnikov developing rhymes based on mathematics and according to eRikm he was also responsible for creating Razine, the wild horseman of sound. If  this is all real, to me they appear as enigmatic moments alternated with downright beauty and austerity. PvdG.