AMM

Fine

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

The album's title connotation is at least dual. This is a recording of a live performance done in conjunction with dancer Fine Kwiatkowski (who, incidentally, is not audible), and it's certainly "fine" in the qualitative sense. One hopes the aura of "finality" implicit in the title doesn't apply. This is one of AMM's quietest, most somber recordings, not as relatively sumptuous as Newfoundland but having a slightly harsher edge, even in its low volume. Eddie Prevost sticks almost entirely to rubbed or stroked surfaces, rarely if ever producing anything sounding like a struck percussion instrument or drum. He and Keith Rowe establish numerous and complex drones, a weaving together of sonic material aggressive and unnerving for all its reticence. AMM's music has been described as being "as like and unalike as trees," and indeed their ability, after more than 35 years as a functioning unit, to avoid routines and ruts while retaining an unmistakable "AMM-ness" is astonishing. Pianist John Tilbury, known for his penchant for Feldman-esque contributions, even manages to largely sidestep those, staying inside the piano or offering melodic fragments that almost invoke Debussy. When, in the last several minutes of the performance, the volume swells into a hall-filling hum and then subsides, it's almost as though the trio has taken a deep breath of satisfaction at both a job well done and at having found still virgin territory to explore. At a time when the electro-acoustic improvisatory scene was bursting at the seams with all manner of exciting musicians and avenues of discovery, the grizzled veterans of AMM were still able to carve out a unique and deeply beautiful space. Fine is yet another significant and stunning document of this ageless, wonderful group's journey.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
AMM
8:42
2
AMM
6:35
3
AMM
4:29
4
AMM
7:52
5
AMM
12:05
6
AMM
8:26
7
AMM
10:37
blue highlight denotes track pick