Lucio Capece & Sergio Merce

[Organized Music from Thessaloniki,]

At times, one needs to let go of preconceived notions that music traps us in. We have to absolve ourselves of the past to move forward with what the present has on offer. Why should one look back and nod one's head in appreciation or fan worship when better and brighter things are on the horizon. Multi-instrumentalist, sound-wizard Lucio Capece has been on my radar for a while. This Argentinean musician's duo album with Axel Dorner [released on L´Innomable] made it clear he's a force to be recokned with. This time around Capece chose the sruti box [hand pumped, wooden box] as his main musical aid. Its rich drone gives off a warm glow, which is only matched by Merce's four-track portastudio set up, that allows occassional static to escape. Interesting to note is the fact that Merce's machine is used without tape. Apparently, he used a variety of objects to strike sides of the device to produce the desired effect. The bulk of the 30 minute "Virar, Virar" piece is the duo going head-to-head with their chosen instruments. While Capece overwhelms the piece with his ominous drone that slightly changes in form and pitch, Merce's additions are much more subtle as the high-pitches oscillate well below the listener's perceptive range. Concoction of these two disaparete elements is certainly an ear-opening experience, though mid-way through the piece I did wish Merce would be more forthcoming with his contribution - that the sound would be somehow drastically altered. What I was hoping for I suppose is for the piece to self-implode. As it stands, it's simply captivating. For the second piece, Capece picks up bass clarinet, while Merce takes on the tenor sax. "Vieja Casa Nueva" is as full of drones as the previous piece. The duo here explores rich textural possibilities of their instruments. With subtle, drawn-out sounds escaping [and oftentimes alternating between the two], one gets a sense they were trying to space out these sounds for all eternity. In fact, space and silence play a significant role in the piece as the two play along a stop-and-go trajectory. Haunting and absolutely thrilling in every sense of the word, "Casa" is music that stays with you long after the music has turned to silence.

- Tom Sekowski

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>> Lucio Capece & Sergio Merce - Casa