Moritz Von Oswald Trio: Horizontal Structures (Honest Jon’s)
Moritz Von Oswald (Maurizio), Sasu Ripatti (Vladislav Delay, Luomo) and Max Loderbauer (Sun Electric) return for another sprawling set of post-everything experiments. Curiously it’s tagged “jazz” although I wouldn’t really consider this to be jazz in any conventional sense. “Horizontal” is an appropriate word, though, as the trio maneuvers laterally through combinations of droning electronics, distant guitar, heavily manipulated and abstracted percussion and concrete sounds. “Structure 1” starts off quite abstractly but ends up evolving into something downright Lynchian, with gloomy chords anchoring the meandering other sounds. Elsewhere, the album gains traction and becomes more accessible if only by virtue of a more steady meter and a bit of a groove; “Structure 2” plods along with a dubby bassline and a steady meter to anchor it while “Structure 3” is focused around repetitive drum loops and effects. The longest piece is number four which clocks in at 20 minutes and sounds vaguely like Nurse With Wound at his more rhythmic or minimal. “Minimal” may be a misnomer to a certain extent since there is a lot happening in the details, but the overarching structure is based on repetition. The closing track is a freeform denouement that serves as a bookend to the droning opener, with tinkling stray metallic percussion and wandering organ (like Last Year at Marienbad meets Einstürzende Neubauten). It’s another strong entry in the MVO Trio’s œuvre, but perhaps not as immediate in impact as their debut splash a couple years ago. But for those interested in what these musicians have been collaborating on, it’s worth a listen, exploring the grey area between ambient, found sounds, dub, jazz and minimalism in the most oblique ways.