For its second album, the Norwegian-Swedish free improv trio Tri-Dim got help from two illustrious artists from different countries and fields: Jim O'Rourke and Barry Guy. The Scandinavian guys don't need such help; they play exciting improv, challenging and lively, but the extra players can help them get some outside attention. 2 of 2 starts with a 19-minute piece by the trio alone. Håkon Kornstad (reeds), David Stackenäs (guitar), and Ingar Zach (percussion) show all the signs of a unit where the players are used to each other but still thrilled to be together. Stackenäs' style recalls Derek Bailey in the busiest moments. When it comes to Scandinavian drummers, music critics in 2002 only had eyes (and ears) for Paal Nilssen-Love, but Zach is a fantastic player, agile and inventive, and should not be overlooked. It's Speedy Gonzales (yes, the Looney Tunes mouse) trying to use a feather touch. Track two is a remix by O'Rourke of an unreleased trio track. Free improv fans may find it disruptive and, in fact, it doesn't achieve much good in this context. The sampling, slicing, and looping create an alien soundscape that transmutes the communicative energy of the group into something cold, lifeless, and much more minimalist (including three minutes of near silence). The last two pieces were recorded at the Molde Jazz Festival in July 2001 and feature Tri-Dim joined by bassist Barry Guy. He blends in very nicely. The first track, 28 minutes long, is a delight. It picks up tremendous momentum near the end, even though it had never really cooled down. The last piece remains very quiet, as the trio hangs on to every move of Guy's mystical bow.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture