Oskar Aichinger


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Another fine recording from Austrian pianist Oskar Aichinger, one of the world's unsung world-class improvisers, Synapsis continues to document his trio's explorations with sound. There is a mesmerizing quality to Aichinger's compositions, an ethereal dance with the gods that draws the listener into his special den of vaporous exaltation. Aichinger refers to his pieces as "Soundtreks," and there is often a movie-like quality to his melodies that almost always dissolves in the vicissitudes of the moment. Aichinger does not swing, but his music does mean many things, revealing new entryways and journeys through open-ended vessels. Stefan Németh's contorted computer explorations, coupled with Aichinger's wicked synth, throw enough monkey wrenches into the soup to mix it up beyond comprehension. Never relying upon external flash or any sort of pompous glorification of super technique, Aichinger continues his journeys like a confident explorer challenged by danger, and almost every one of the pianist's steps opens new possibilities. Too, he is weird, wickedly so in a way that only depresses, stimulates, or fascinates. Yet through it all he is also intensely individualistic, so that each of his compositions takes on a remarkable personality that incorporates a multitude of moods. With a strikingly impressive vocabulary, Aichinger has done it again, proving that even in Vienna the edges fray.

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