Outermost Edge –  Alex Stolze (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

a4086302413_10Outermost Edge is a collection of songs which sees contemporary classical music heading into experimental jazz territory and takes the form of sonic creations which happens as much between the notes and in the breaths between the lyrics as in the more conventional sonic communications.  There is a wonderful minimalism and deft composition at work here, every beat, every pass of the violin bow, every poetic line, has been honed and whittled to provide the most impact with the least presence. It’s an art which often seems missing in the bombastic and showboating of the modern musical world.

If opening salvo Black Drops wanders the same off-kilter modern classical pathways as the likes of Karl-Heinz Stockhauser and the desolate musical spaces of Philip Glass, it is followed by the sultry, jazz tones of Serves All Loss a piece which seems to conjure black and white noir-ish cinematics and European sophistication. And it is between these two extremes that the album makes its way, adding hints of electronica, sounds gathered from various world music and neighbouring genres  but always used to create cool understatement and beguiling sounds.

But even within these parameters boundaries are pushed and rules flaunted. Silence in Between comes at you like a scratched 78 rpm record, creating off-beat jumps and glitches as part of its own sonic personality, Andalusia is a sweeping, distant sounding summation of exotic climes and Way Out is a strange blend of whimsical calypso and lilting pop rhythms somewhat at odds with its apocalyptic lyrical nature.

Outermost Edge is an exercise in virtuosity reduced to its minimal requirements, there is no questioning the skill and technical ability of all involved but as always it is a testament to the bravery of leaving space, of knowing what not to play and of drawing the listener in to the atmospherics and moods that swirl around between the heard and the anticipated.


Leave a Reply

Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: