Album Review

Lopes, Luis – “Lisbon Berlin Trio” – [Clean Feed]

Thurston Hunger   12/6/2012   CD, Jazz

Scritchy, discordant but clean guitar improvisations from Luis Lopes
out of Portugal. To me, Lopes rises from the rock-inflamed mountain
of guitarists, Sonny Sharrock, Anders Hana, Ido Bukleman. That
being said, his playing, while crazed and clustered minimally
dips into the fuzzy lands of effect pedals. At least on this (his
first release to find KFJC!) The album opens with this dry vibe,
Robert Landfermann’s upright bass is bowed slow like a crypt
opening. Drummer Christian Lillinger blows tense air over his
cymbals, and Lopes tip-toes in with some feedback and maybe a
little delay ringing. It’s like he’s limbering up over the stretching
of the bass strings. At about 4min, he’s ready to catch fire. The
tone of the album pretty much follows that track, on “Mutant Free 1”
his playing is really bright and at the end seems he is whistling
through his pickups, kinda has a Mats Gustafsson thing going. “Song
for M” is indeed the most song-styled, with a kind of ECM walking
bassline and then spider-webbed chords in it too. It all came together
on “Trip to” which starts with Lillinger doing a call/response
between his hi-hat and snare, some distant and driven-to-distortion
guitar approaches and a whirlwind ensues. Check out Landfermann’s
bass dervish before the softer coda. Nice work all around!

-Thurston Hunger

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