Georg Hofmann / Lucas Niggli

Mute Songs & Drumscapes

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Usually solo percussion discs, even in duet form, are a mixed bunch. Very few drummers have the temerity or the creativity to showcase an entire recording and keep the listeners' interest. And while it's true a duet situation makes the odds a little better, they still aren't very good. Enter this pair, Hofmann and Niggli, with their array of percussion instruments and a pair of trap kits, who uses the tape space provided to stunning effect. There are nine selections here, with two drummers so systemic on both their constructions and solos that the effect is not only hypnotic, it's riveting. Hofmann and Niggli move through the languages of percussion, weaving together and enveloping them into one another seamlessly without artifice or unnecessary flash. There are African motifs, but not so much from the continent as from different regions; there are Peruvian figures woven against jazz figures, there are Polynesian and even Middle Eastern rhythms speaking to one another, and all with this seamless, rounded warmth and open, atmospheric texture. This is a drum record for serious students of percussion, massage therapists, seekers of material for drum circles, and the average Joe looking to spice up his or her musical life.

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