AXON - Constant Comments
[FMR Records, www.fmr-records.com]


I still remember the joy that Axon's debut recording elicited from me more than a decade ago. "Perceptions" [which has since been sadly deleted from Random Acoustics catalogue] was a trio record where the three members initiated an orgy of the highest improvisational standards. Percussionist Martin Blume, cellist/electronics guru Marcio Mattos along with vocal wizard Phil Minton played together for the first time as if they'd been playing for decades. Their sense of communication was flawless. The long pieces on their debut release stretched out and let the trio's ideas come through in the clearest, most developed fashion. More than a decade forward, we get the follow up "Constant Comments". It's interesting to see the trio has now transformed into a quartet, with the addition of pianist [occasional accordion player] Fred van Hove. His percussive style of playing fits in very well along with Martin Blume's delicate and shimmering work. In moments, it sounds as if the group now had two percussionists instead of one. This makes for an excellent effect. Phil Minton's voice is still ever present [though he does take long breaks at times until we hear his voice again]. No matter how often I listen to the man, his Donald Duck-like quacking and over-the-top vocalization still leaves me speechless. Marcio Mattos continues to use his cello in a fashion that makes his instrument sound like something from outer space. "Constant Comments" is one of those releases that should be getting a massive amount of comments from die-hard fans, critics and new music lovers all over. Let's only hope we don't have to put up with another ten year wait for their next release.

- Tom Sekowski


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