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The Moritz Von Oswald Trio opens a new chapter. There's a new configuration to the project, with Tony Allen joining original members Moritz von Oswald and Max Loderbauer. Allen, the legendary drummer who's amassed a formidable catalogue both as a solo artist and as part of Fela Kuti's band, has taken over percussion duties from Vladislav Delay. Together, von Oswald, Loderbauer and Allen form something close to a dream team, two masters of the electronic sphere meeting an afrobeat pioneer. Allen had already established a rapport with the group before they entered the studio to record Sounding Lines - he's been touring with von Oswald and Loderbauer for more than a year, playing live shows around the world. There has been an evolution on each new Moritz Von Oswald Trio record, and Sounding Lines is no different. The album, which was mixed by Ricardo Villalobos, maintains the project's trajectory - a fearless exploration of dub techno, classical music and jazz - but the prevailing mood feels looser and more organic than ever before. Allen's imperious percussive work sits tantalisingly in the mix. His drums meet the electronics of von Oswald and Loderbauer in a way that renders the project in new, vivid colours. There are 4/4 tracks, beatless interludes and complex jazz structures, with propulsive recordings ("3") coexisting alongside more languid moments ("1"). Sometimes Allen provides flourishes of drums (notably on "4") while at other times spectral synths come to the fore (as on "5"). Von Oswald, a masterful composer and arranger with a deep understanding of space, paints the crevices of each composition on Sounding Lines with rich detail. Individually, von Oswald, Loderbauer and Allen are formidable and hugely influential musicians. As a trio, they've conjured something remarkable. Tony Allen, drums; Max Loderbauer, synthesizers; Moritz von Oswald, percussion sequencing, synthesizers, additional electronics. Mixed by Ricardo Villalobos. Artwork by Marc Brandenburg.
- 5 (Spectre)
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