Entomological Reflections

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Much like their debut, Black Narcissus, Entomological Reflections is another fascinating blend of otherworldly sounds and adventurous musicianship from the trio Mephista, consisting of Sylvie Courvoisier on piano, Ikue Mori on laptop, and Susie Ibarra on drums. A quick glance at the instrument credits will do little to clue you in as to what the album sounds like. Courvoisier likes to play inside the piano a fair amount, and it sounds as though she often mutes or prepares the strings as well. Susie Ibarra plays little in the way of straightforward timekeeping, using the kit instead to provide skittering percussive accents. Mori's laptop is filled with interesting sounds, and meshes so well with Ibarra's playing that at times it's difficult to tell who's playing what. And it's even harder to tell who's playing what when Courvoisier is playing inside the piano. Most of the material is improvised, although each participant offers at least two compositions as well. Each of these players has a highly individual voice on her respective instrument, and together they are three of the finest improvising women on the scene. This album isn't likely to get any toes tapping, but will reward careful listening.

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