Poolplayers Way Below The Surface

Way Below The Surface is an apt title for players channelling minimalist statements in a reverb-soaked soundscape. Actually, "reverb soaked” would suggest a monolithic, unchanging atmosphere but Poolplayers deploy interactive electronics as they play their instruments. They manipulate spatial perception in a way that simply wasn’t possible 20 or 30 years ago. The presence of Arve Henriksen of Supersilent is a dead giveaway of the band’s sound. His long, slow trumpet and vocal expressions range from Jon Hassell to Bill Dixon, but coupled with his own electronics and those of his band-mates, his pure tones become stretched and detuned. Benoit Delbecq’s piano is quiet and lyrical. His playing recalls the spaciousness of ECM’s Nordic austerity of the ’80s, but his use of filter sweeping with the analog Bass Station keeps things fresh. Wah piano, anyone? The rhythms of many tracks sound like continuously crumpling cardboard with awesome stereo separation. Indeed, this mix exists in 5.0 as well thanks to Songlines’ SACD format. This is highly recommended for your home theatre. (Songlines)