• tetuzi akiyama & jozef van wissem Hymn for a Fallen Angel (CD, £13.75)

    label: Incunabulum

    This second release as a duo highlights the improvisatory aspect of Van Wissem's activity but, as is always the case with him, the approach is not so easy to categorize. Hymn for a Fallen Angel pairs Van Wissem with another rigorously iconoclastic artist, Japanese guitarist and Off-Site alum, Tetuzi Akiyama. Van Wissem improvised to a recording of Akiyama that he had entered into Garageband, a programme which allowed him to "see Akiyama's notes coming." The result is something like a duo improvisation in which the participants are separated in time, with one player given the benefit (or burden) of precognition. This is austere, yet open music that unfolds slowly and laterally, with Van Wissem's lute and Akiyama's bottleneck guitar tightly echoing one another or sounding together in strange clusters of tones that are allowed to decay slowly into deep chasms of silence. Full of spectral chords, microtonal glissandi and iron concentration, Hymn draws firmly from the work of both artists in forging a sound world that is as barren as it is deep. Minimal Classical Contemporary Folk Blues played by Japanese Rising Improv Star guitarist Tetuzi Akiyama and Dutch/American lute player/composer Jozef van Wissem. "The music is gradual and contemplative, unfolding like an unhurried chess game, edging forward in a shared yet adaptable and accommodating language. Courtly arpeggios, blues slurs and other pointers beyond the frame don't disrupt the Feldmanesque autonomy of their continually mutating, freely patterned flow." - The Wire.

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