The small Portuguese label Grain of Sound took a seven-year pause before returning with a new release by the trio of Alex Zhang Hungtai, David Maranha and Gabriel Ferrandini. The label has a small catalogue of records mainly by Portuguese musicians, like David Maranha, who is also present on this new release. Maranha is a veteran of the Portuguese avant garde scene, known for his work with Osso Exotico, his collaborations with Z’ev , Stephan Mathieu, Phil Niblock and many others. In 2012 he released a vinyl album with Gabiel Ferrandini, ‘A Fonte de Aretusa’ for Mazagran. Ferrandini is a young drummer, percussionist from Portugal who since 2007 is engaged in numerous collaborations of improvised music. For their next step they invited Alex Zhang Hungtai. Hungtai is a Taiwanese-born Canadian musician originating from Montréal, who works under the moniker of Dirty Beaches and later, Last Lizard. On this trio effort we hear Hungtai on sax, Maranha on organ and Ferrandini on drums in two extended improvisations of about 20 minutes each. Ferrandini is the busiest one of the three with driving drums and percussion. Hungtai plays long extended notes and riffs and Maranha does a great on job on organ. Through their intense interplay they deliver a hypnotizing and engaging work of minimal improvisations, recorded live in Cafe Oto in London, February 6th 2015

(DM)

in Vital Weekly September, 2016