VHF stands for the meeting of Simon Vincent (drums, tone generator), Graham Halliwell (alto saxophone, percussion) and Simon H. Fell (double bass). Extracts is the result of three recording sessions between February and October 1998. The CD contains seven improvisations of short to medium lengths (six to ten minutes), all very quiet. The language used here, akin to late-'90s Austrian experimentations (Werner Dafeldecker, Christof Kurzmann, and the like), focuses on texture over showmanship, without resorting to the extreme settings of some of John Butcher's projects (like 12 Milagritos), where the musical events get so sparse the texture becomes intangible. Simon H. Fell's bass is prominent, although he doesn't sound like he imposes himself, the others simply agree to follow him. Not to say Vincent and Halliwell aren't contributing: When Vincent plays a wash of cymbals 6:35 into "Xe," something magical happens as the piece shifts its polarity -- a beautiful moment of total musical communication. Another strong passage is the beginning of "Ra," where Fell's long and grainy bowed notes are backed by low electronic drones, the two sounds interfering with each other. Also worth mentioning is the almost free jazz inspiration found on "Ac," with Fell and Halliwell setting a slow pace as they duet with long notes, later joined by Vincent playing on his drums with mallets. Extracts should be listened to with headphones loud in order to hear every detail of these textures.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture