There are three tracks on Nervure, with each made up mostly of small sounds scratching and scurrying around one another. The guitar often sounds as much like a further percussive element as Loubatiere’s instrumentation, usually amplified but played with little scurrying explorations and various items tapping and rubbing over the instrument as much as the strings are ever directly addressed by themselves. There are no rhythms as such, no pulse and no real extended passages in which the drums are struck, with extended techniques very much the name of the game from both musicians throughout, but exactly what each of those techniques may look like I haven’t a clue. Like so many improv records, and so many reviews I have written about them, this disc is all about that interplay, that struggle/tussle/squabble/chatter that two musicians in full flight, responding in a flash bring to the music. This isn’t music that will change the world, or even make me reach for the sleeve notes to see if there is anything on them I may have missed. Its clearly a nice clear recording of tinkling children’s musical boxes, tinging metals struck and decaying slowly, prickly tapping and crackling, bowed metal, rubbed strings, hammered hollow wood. Its a lot of nice sounds wrapped together with energy and with a sense of design and balance. It is music for nights like this, when I don’t want to have to think too much, but I want to enjoy the experience of engaging with music to pull it all apart, fathom out how it all works. It shard for me to sit here and recommend this CD particularly highly above a host of other improv discs. There is little to truly set it apart from other acoustic improv duos but its certainly not a bad recording at all, and its exactly what I needed tonight.
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