The very first things one hears on this live recording are the creaks and pops issuing from the transparent roof of the structure within which the concert is being held as it weathers a rainstorm (dach translates to roof). The ambience is entirely convincing, a credit to Earl Howard's mastering, and the listener finds himself appreciating a palpable sense of space and air, so much so that it is difficult to tell exactly when the performance proper begins. Given trombonist Radu Malfatti's preoccupations of the previous several years, this is very appropriate because the trio he steers practices free improvisation of the quietest kind. Indeed, it often seems as though they are almost willing their music to be subsumed by the environment, providing only the slightest tinges of difference. Contrary, crucially, to what has become generally known as ambient music, there is no fluff, no gauze, no preconceived notions of "prettiness" or serenity. Though quiet, the sounds are agitated, inquisitive, surprising, and purposeful. Durrant and Malfatti, who have long careers working with diverse groups, both traditional and avant-garde, rarely create sounds normally associated with their respective instruments. Instead, they generate rubbings, taps, breaths, and more that, pillowed among Lehn's more readily recognizable synthesizer, ingratiate themselves into the room while remaining in conversation with each other. The effect is one of lying in a beautiful, alien space alive with fascinating sound. Dach is one of the finest recorded examples of what might be termed the post-AMM school of improvisation and fans of that highly esteemed ensemble will find much to enjoy here. Challenging music, highly recommended.
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