Xu Fengxia / Lucas Niggli
Black Lotos

[Intakt, www.intaktrec.ch]

Chinese guzheng/sanxian player and vocalist Xu Fengxia is no stranger to cross-pollination. She used to perform in Peter Kowald's Global Village project back in the 90's. In fact, she states this about Kowald, "He was the musician that opened my eyes and my ears for the music of the world. Without him I would not be where I am now. We will continue to work in his spirit. He has exemplified peace and love through his way of life." High words of praise for someone whom she considers an influence. Lucas Niggli is known for his bands Zoom, Big Zoom, Drum Quartet and the noise manifesto of Steamboat Switzerland. On "Black Lotos", these two musicians have arrived at a junction where nothing matters short of pure freedom to improvise. I love the carnal intensity that Fengxia utilizes on much of this recording. Listen to the way she howls on "Ride Over Blue Sky". As her vocal jump up a notch, and she realizes furious motifs on the guzheng [Chinese zither], Niggli adds brushes of colour on his drum set. The pacing gets faster until the whole thing falls apart in a maddening display of pure chaos. Elsewhere, as on the title track, Fengxia wails a melancholy motif, while Niggli partners up on barrelling percussive rolls. This is music of loss, a celebration of togetherness but mostly a revelatory experience in duo improvisation. Here's hoping that "Black Lotos" is not just a one-off collaboration from this spectacular duo.

Tom Sekowski


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RECENZJE

+ The Magic Carpathians - Acousmatic Psychogeography
+ Robert Schroeder - New Frequency
+ Namlook XXV - Pearl III
+ Krzysztof Stanisławski - End Of All Things
+ Lonelady - Nerve Up
+ Bomb The Bass - Back To Light
+ Gonjasufi - A Sufi And A Killer
+ Autechre - Oversteps
+ Galactic - Ya- Ka- May
+ Serena Maneesh - No. 2 Abyss In B Minor
+ Hoarfrost & Inner Vision Laboratory - Decline
+ Yarek & Friends - Spirits Of The Dust
+ Radio Massacre International - Time & Motion
+ Przemysław Rudź - Summa Technologiae
+ Vampire Weekend - Contra
+ Namlook XXIV - Pearl II
+ Efterklang - Magic Chairs
+ Pantha Du Prince - Black Noise
+ Gil Scott- Heron - I'm New Here
+ Cold Cave - Love Comes Close
+ Four Tet - There is Love in You
+ Current 93 - Baalstorm, Sing Omega

- - - - - - - - -

+ Katharina Weber - Woven Time - Piano Solo / Jorge Ben - Jorge Ben / The Holly Martins - no. no. yes. no. / Automelodi - Fait ses courses / Noetinger / Doneda / eRikm - Dos D'anes / Opsvik & Jennings - A Dream I Used to Remember / Francesco Giannico - Folkanization / Boutaiba Sghir / Bellemou & Benfissa / Groupe El Azhar / Cheb Zergui - 1970's Algerian Proto-Rai Underground / Hear - 5 Pieces / Various Artists - Marvellous Boy - Calypso from West Africa / Barbara Morgenstern - bm / Trondheim Jazz Orchestra & Kim Myhr - Stems and Cages / Christy & Emily - No Rest / Darling - Darling / Pjusk - Sval / Club 8 - The People's Record / Rozenhall - Rozenhall / V/A - Rauschgold - Alec Empire Plays Staubgold / V/A - Bob Blank - The Blank Generation - Blank Tapes NYC 1975-1985 / Yann Novak / Jamie Drouin - +Room-Room / Applehead - I Love CQ / Magik Markers - Balf Quarry / Ken Vandermark / Max Nagl / Clayton Thomas / Wolfgang Reisinger - C.O.D.E. / Eddy Meets Yannah - Fiction Jar / Pink Turtle - Pop in Swing / Stefan Keune / Hans Schneider / Achim Kramer - No Comment / Tim Buckley - Live at the Folklore Center, NYC - March 6, 1967 / Facet - Conscious Mental Field Recordings / Various Artists - Quit Having Fun - Boring Machines Compilation # 1 / Shinkei / Luigi Turra - Yu / Mudboy - Mort Aux Vaches / Various Artists - Jahtarian Dubbers Vol. 2 / Moon & Moon - VII Acts of an Iron King / Gilles Aubry - Berlin Backyards / Velvet Elevator - At the Movies / Various Artists - Vienna Scientists V - The 10th Anniversary / Lean Left - The Ex Guitars meet Nilssen-Love/Vandermark Duo - Volume 1 / Ian Hawgood - The Great Allure / Francisco Lopez - Amarok / Origami Arktika - Trollebotn / Roscoe Mitchell - The Solo Concert / The Holmes Brothers - Feed My Soul
+ Horace Tapscott - The Dark Tree
+ Various Artists - Spectra - Guitar in the 21st Century
+ Brotzmann / Nilssen-Love - Wood Cuts / Sven-Ake Johansson / Peter Brotzmann / Alexander von Schlippenbach - Up and Down the Lion - revised
+ Shiggajon - Fire sange i gul og rod / Alberorovesciato - Tigers on acid in the hell of the brushwoods
+ Gesellschaft zur Emanzipation des Samples - Circulations
+ Talibam! - Boogie in the Breeze Blocks
+ My Cat is an Alien & Enore Zaffiri - Through the magnifying glass of tomorrow
+ Robert Henke - Atom / Document
+ Allison Miller - Boom Tic Boom
+ Michael Renkel / Burkhard Beins - Activity Center - Lohn & Brot
+ Martin Baumgartner - Martin Baumgartner's Spielhuus
+ Rothkamm - ALT - 1989-2009
+ Tomasz Stanko Quintet - Dark Eyes
+ A Handful of Dust - Now Gods, Stand Up for Bastards & The Philosophick Mercury
+ Charles Rumback - Two Kinds of Art Thieves
>> Xu Fengxia / Lucas Niggli - Black Lotos
+ V/A - Strike 100
+ Strotter Inst. - Minenhund
+ David Sylvian - Manafon
+ Anthony Braxton - Seven Compositions (Trio) 1989
+ Carol Robinson - Billows