Barcelona, Hopscotch Records Hop 10 » Agustí Fernández (piano), Derek Bailey (guitar) «
The fifteen-minute opener Senyor Parellada is exploratory, Fernández playing a heavily prepared piano, Bailey sitting in the corner and plucking away, but with what would seem something of a determined expression. It seems like it’s music that has been tamed: they’re playing comfortably, but perhaps while keeping one eye over their shoulder. The second, half as long Botafumeiro is beautifully chilled, the plucking and bit-ting coming equally from both sides.
After a brief power-up Esterri comes the central 23 minute Casa Leopoldo, which is great, everywhere, and the highlight of the set. Starting off contemplative, it moves out into some really textural sounds, moments of some sort of intricate soundscape, with Fernández getting the uttermost out of his effect-laden piano. A musical sound with great depth. Seemingly bolstered by this production, the final two tracks are the most up of the record; 7 Portes is quite dark, whereas Medulio, more excited. I dunno… it’s a bit annoying that the pieces don’t really seem to fit together very well, one after another—it feels like just some random set of recordings that happened to turn out alright—but individually the music is great; accomplished and essentially straight-forward, but with a slight edge of tension to put it out that extra mile.