Graham Reid | | 1 min read
From their origins on PVC pipes and Jandals, through the incorporation of voices and here with the German electronic group Supreme Particles, From Scratch's explorations of rigorous and mathematically determined rhythm patterns has always been worth following.
And the computer-percussion interface here offers them a richness of sound they explore fully within the technically narrow parameters they set themselves. Out of it they pull the most riveting music. (Music to rivet too?)
This album contains hints of all aspects of their lengthy career but equally it brings suggestions of percussion as ancient as a gamelan orchestra and contemporary technology to the fore. That delicate balance between ancient and modern is often contained within the most concise of short, repeated phrases which undergo metamorphic change. It's a real exploration of economy.
It would be a commonplace, perhaps, to observe Global Hockets' organic moves from primal to electronic sounds so the 10 separate pieces can be read as one long flow. But that construction and interlocking of the various diverse, yet related, parts is what makes this work.
There's warmth and cool analysis in balance, so the parts are interesting of themselves. There's a section of delicate bells and Chinese-like chimes, what sounds like talking water droplets; the joyous disciplined shouts and clapping section; the barely audible drone section leading in to an ambient landscape in the manner of Fripp and Eno; and the cyber-medievalism of the chanting towards the end ...
From Scratch have always managed that tightrope walk between the mathematically methodical and the primal nature of what percussion means, and this album - beautifully crisp live recordings from their appearances in Europe - finds them at their most engaging best.