Gusev/Hoogeboom/Mimlitsch – Trapped!

[Reviewed by Peter Marks]

In their continuing exploration of what nobody else will acknowledge is very much out there in the underground, Thirsty Leaves have given us an album by a rather strange trio of fellows for whom the stereo field is a blank slate just waiting to be broken. I hear drum machines, I hear feedback, I hear some sort of signal processing all bent up and bruised and I hear a clarinet moving through all of this with whimsical abandon; akin to the dazed sense one sees in the faces of natural disaster survivors or trauma wing patients in a hospital.

It would have been a treat to be in the rooms these guys wrote this material in, to watch the synthesis in action and to see the unconscious cues each of them took from the others when playing their parts. I’ve come across this kind of approach only once before and, of course, it was on a release by this label. Trapped! does not come from the junkyard, however, it seems to function as a carrier wave which allows we who listen to triangulate it’s position and hone in even if only for a short while.

There are the obvious connections I could make between what the title is and where we’re at around the world; humanity’s position on this planet is a tenuous one and each day a little bit more of the foundation crumbles. That’s not what this record is about, however, this is a very personal journey one takes into their own psyche.

And it’s infuriating short.

By the time you finish playing this you’ll be wondering just what exactly you’ve heard. There is a jazz influence, no doubt, but so many other disparate styles and techniques are employed at an incredible rate; threads split off and then divide before skittering off again without end. A menacing atmosphere hangs thickly over all of it, relentlessly holding you in it’s glare.

Gusev/Hoogeboom/Mimlitsch – Trapped!
Thirsty Leaves Music, TLM010
CD/Digital 2017

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