Kits is an international collaboration between two percussionists working separately. Ireneusz Socha has recorded his drums, percussion and sampling in Debica, Poland. Thomasz Krakowiak laid down his objects in Toronto, Canada. In the first two pieces Krakowiak got the last word, while in the last two Socha made the final recordings. Track three, titled "Silence," is just that, providing a break between the two rounds -- and thus making this half-hour album even shorter. Socha alternates between unsteady grooves (think Michel F. Côté, Chris Cutler or Pavel Fajt before the late ‘90s) and free improvisation with extended techniques -- I hear cymbals hit while resting on drum heads, among other things. Krakowiak uses an array of small wood, plastic and metal objects, together with crude electronic toys. Textural, his approach (akin to Martin Klapper's) involves a lot of rubbing, as in the aptly title "Rub'n'roll" in which balloons may be involved. And that whining sound in "Signatures" comes very close to Hans Reichel's daxophone. But beyond the tools and techniques, Kits strikes the ear because of the quality of these pieces. The strange sounds fascinate, but more importantly the pieces make us travel. They have surprising twists and skillfully combine moments of excitement (in "Signatures," for instance) with sound research. Only "Certain Circles" seems less well balanced. So in a nutshell: Kits deserved to be longer.
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