The Electrics are an all-acoustic free improv quartet. They do deserve their name, however, at least judging from this highly charged performance recorded in Copenhagen (Denmark) on April 27, 2000. This is one of the group's first meetings, because they made their inaugural tour that month. A pan-European affair, the quartet features the front line of Swedish saxophonist Sture Ericson and German trumpeter Axel Dörner. Ericson is a powerful free jazz blower. He favors emotion and excitement over technique, even if it means running into an occasional cliché. Dörner has been building a reputation as a supporter (and pioneer) of reductionism, together with Radu Malfatti and Franz Hautzinger, but in parallel to his sparse, highly experimental recordings, he still enjoys more maximalist settings (check out his group Die Enttaüschung). His solo in "Change of Accidents" soars almost melodically. That extended piece also features solo spotlights for the two members of the rhythm section: Norwegian bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (of Atomic) and Swedish drummer Raymond Strid. Flaten can launch a mean ostinato to propel the group. He also displays feverish arco playing. Strid is equal to himself, delightfully resourceful. Despite its freely improvised nature, the music of the Electrics remains deeply rooted in jazz. Ericson sounds like he has learned a lot from fire music's legends. The instant vamp appearing six minutes into "Accidents by Chance" constitutes proof that the hearts of the four musicians beat to the same groove: a sinuous instant melody, a walking bassline, incredible synergy between all players to bring things to a gentle, seducing halt. Real, live, modern, jazz. Superb.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture