Iva Bittová

Bittová and Fajt

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Iva Bittová has established herself all over the globe as an innovative musician and singer whose songs and improvisations are as rooted in antiquity as they are in the hyper-modern esthetic. On Bittová and Fajt, she teams with drummer Pavel Fajt for a series of songs and improvisations that accent the traditional, but it's tough to pin them down, what with the strains of overtone improvisation and modern jazz "counter-drumming" (playing against the rhythm in order to create a new one in addition to the one already present) flitting through the mix. From the opener, "Na Tele Plast," where Bittová's violin becomes a rhythm instrument in and of itself as Fajt uses sticks on some type of metal to achieve a shimmering, rippling effect; her voice becomes the sole melodic construct -- though it is considerable. Repetitive, trance-like, and alternately swooping, it creates a notion of the previous by its own Herculean effort against the swirl of percussion and polyrhythms. On "Psi," she plucks her violin in order to create rhythm -- Fajt plays the bass drum, keeping it heavily shadowed in the mix -- and then creates an alternate melody contrapuntally, with her voice freeing up the violin to keep time with chords that harmonically accent her lyrical singing. The drums finally come up dynamically, creating a tension that is at once sexual and malevolent. The disc closes with "No Prete Foc," a short piece where the vocals and violin are seldom present at the same time. The singing moves into drone mode and Bittová's violin follows Fajt's snare and becomes the melodic element, creating a lyrical chaos that would be a nursery rhyme were it not so deviant sounding. Elementally, this music is as organic as it gets. This duo understands drama, dynamic, harmony, and above all, the ways to shift rhythm around until it completely overtakes the listener, roping her or him into any space available, no matter how big or small or foreign it may seem. This is an achievement for any music, but in this case, it becomes the art form.

blue highlight denotes track pick