Friday, 3 August 2007

SYN019 - Pateras/Baxter/Brown - "Gauticle" CD

"Gauticle was recorded in 2004 in "Vienna" and "London," presumably live although no specific recording dates and locations are disclosed. It features composer/pianist Anthony Pateras, drummer Sean Baxter, and guitarist David Brown (the latter two of Bucketrider and Lazy) forming a tighter and more exciting trio than what can be witnessed on their debut recording Ataxia. These three musicians play their instruments in unorthodox ways, looking for quiet, delicate sounds. Pateras spends most of his time inside the piano, hitting, scraping, and rubbing its strings. Brown uses preparations on his guitar, focusing on its tortured acoustic qualities. As for Baxter, he mainly resorts to metal percussion and very light stick work to produce flurries of mice steps. Tiny sounds can make quite a racket at times, as can be heard in "Vienna Three," a tight stop-and-go improvisation in which at least 12 hands would seem necessary to produce all those sounds, yet only six are actually involved. That piece and "Vienna One" are the highlights of the set, with the latter being in a quieter vein, every sound being carefully placed within the whole picture. Generally, the three "Vienna" pieces are more satisfying than the two "London" ones, due partly to the latter's lack of stereo separation (a flatter sound), but also to a lack of distinctive character in the performance. The "Vienna" tracks (32 minutes of music in all) are sizzling with ideas and dynamics, beautifully rendered by Christoph Amann's wide-angle recording". ~ François Couture, All Music Guide