Album Review

Alex Zethson Ensemble – “Some of Them Were Never Unprepared” – [Relative Pitch Records]

Max Level   3/7/2022   A Library, CD

I read somewhere that Alex Zethson considers this music to be influenced by both gamelan and krautrock, and I definitely hear that. It’s easy to get lost in this music while it’s playing. The two tracks are long, rhythmic, and hypnotic—-minimal pieces using the complex instrumentation of a 13-piece ensemble. Part One (17:00) is a constant banging on what seems to be mostly prepared pianos and metal percussion instruments, with a double-time section toward the end. Part Two (16:22) takes a couple of minutes to get going, and from then on it’s a sublime build-up from a low throb to a raging crescendo of violins, cellos, basses, pianos, drums, and guitars. Really really cool stuff.

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