|Silence plays a part in Hoib as well, with many of the most hypnotic timbres seemingly taking place just below the threshold of comfortable listening. Divided among two mid-length tracks, the band members assert themselves most individually on “Hoib 2”, which itself begins with almost complete silence for 60 seconds.
Eventually Perraud come up with an odd drum sound -- not a beat mind you -- and Blondy keystrokes that could come from a toy piano. Soon you realize that the segmented whap that almost resembles a vibraharp’s touch is coming from mallets hitting piano keys, while the spreading harp-like glisses are from the guitar.
With nothing moving very loudly or quickly, subtle tongue slaps and shrill colored air expiration from Guionnet and Denzler are even more obvious. Flirting with micotonalism, the two barely avoid stasis. Alternating obtuse penny-whistle timbres and silence, it’s fairly obvious that this sax meeting has very little to do with a Cannonball Adderley and John Coltrane reed battle or anything else overtly jazzy. Respiration does appear, but these abrasive split tones create unknown tonal properties not differentiated notes. Eventually, a backdrop is created out of scraped chromatic colors from the guitar and internal dampening of the piano keys. Hooting, sibilant, almost harmonica-reedy tones from the saxes hang suspended in the air until even the overtones dissolves into silence.
Similar undifferentiated and unknown oscillations are on the first, longer track, along with pressure on cymbal and snare tops from the percussionist, scrapes along the underside and front of the guitar by the plectrumist and a build up of tongue slaps, flattement and colored air from the reedists. Still, with the track angled more towards undulation then movement, clanging ring modulator-like waveforms seem to enter the sound picture as well.
Eventually the drummer builds up his arrangement from subtle touches and split-second cymbal spanks to somehow meld sour snare rattles with sine wave-like piercing cries from the reeds. Eventually, chiming, elongated tongue stops and split tones are bolstered from near-noiselessness with finger and palm percussion and internal piano string rumbles.
Harsh sputters from one sax, shrill, flutter-tongue squeaks from the other, a continual rhapsody of saturated piano tones and pinpointed cymbal pings bring the piece to a climax, while the finale is a flawlessly positioned solo drum beat.
Not jazz or perhaps even improv as we know it, Hoib and Metz deserve concentrated examination by those open to tracing new currents in free playing.
One Final Note