Ensemble X Ensemble X

The X in tuba player Carl Ludwig Hübsch's 19-piece meta-improvising ensemble acts as a placeholder, speaking to the anonymous nature of the individual performers as their personalities are shed in favour of the needs of the larger group. By handpicking members of the Swiss, French, German and American improvising scenes, Hübsch was able to assemble a group of musicians dedicated to his vision of creating a delicate, noise-oriented sound and whose personal and instrumental characters worked in symbiosis with the music as it evolved. Each of the four pieces featured on this album showcase the ensemble's "groupthink," or meta-improvisatory, nature in its own way. Distant thunderclouds interrupt the serenity of "X113," while the bedrock of "X8" and "X111" expands and contracts, fracturing in the process. "X112" is a sleeping giant of a piece, hesitant to change direction. When searching for treasure amongst European improv releases, X certainly marks the spot. (Red Toucan)