Magma cs547









Having been recorded more than a year ago, Sitsa seems almost delayed per the usual standards of Ernesto Rodrigues, but of course many musicians release recordings only years later: Its release is actually contiguous (in catalog number) with Kuori (discussed here in December 2018), another album including Moimême, there in a double guitar setup (and for which the "shell" meaning of the title reflects an image similar to that of the recently mentioned Spiegel), but with more of a central focus — albeit becoming larger or smaller according to perceptual expansion or contraction. Kuori might thus be contrasted with Magma (as noted above), on which Moimême & Rodrigues are joined (again) by metallic percussionist Antez in quite an eruption, less about twittering details of counterpoint or perception than an assertive, quasi-singular (& often violent) line of articulation. (In contrast to the post-serial investigations of Sitsa, then, Magma can be heard more as a distillation of heavy metal, perhaps in literal terms....) One can of course compare to (the more directly ambient?) Sîn (recorded "way back" in 2016, but released only last year) as well: Like Magma, it's the relatively rare second album by an identical improvising ensemble (after Nor, originally discussed here in April 2015) & involves more presence & polyphony (in the post-serial mode) per Sitsa. However, Sîn is also acoustic, and so still reflects primary audibility concerns — or perhaps even a sort of hermeneutics, not so unlike those of Spiegel & its explicit re-interrogation of an earlier performance (as mentioned last month).... Todd McComb's Jazz Thoughts

Primeiro é o silêncio. Depois, quando esperávamos que dele crescessem pequenos sons, segundo a cartilha da tendência reducionista da improvisação (Ernesto Rodrigues, o violetista, tem sido um dos seus rostos a nível internacional), é o que parece um trovão o que ouvimos. Súbito e violento, com outros rebentamentos a acontecerem logo de seguida. Pelo meio, julgamos escutar uma copiosa chuva. É de modo descritivo, imagético, mas ilusório, que começa este “Magma”, com Abdul Moimême a fazer um impactante uso das enormes chapas que habitualmente coloca sobre as suas guitarras horizontais e o francês Antez a acrescentar elementos de sua lavra com um “set” de percussão. Quando começamos a ouvir a viola de Rodrigues as construções sonoras tornam-se mais abstractas: o que ouvimos não é, afinal, uma tempestade, mas a mimetização de um mundo subterrâneo, feito de lava e rocha, tão vivo quanto o que se passa à superfície, com fogo líquido a derramar-se sobre precipícios e blocos de granito a colidirem.
Não há formas propriamente neste onirismo de carácter cinematográfico, mas sombras, lampejos de cor, movimentos, cada percepção destes provocando-nos uma inquietude que já não podemos racionalizar. O formato é electroacústico, mas o que aqui vem não corresponde aos modos e fazeres da EAI ou de qualquer outro tipo de abordagem da música experimental que recorre a dispositivos eléctricos e electrónicos. É outro o plano de realizações, algures entre o cabalismo metálico de um Z’ev, o rico imaginário tímbrico e textural de Xenakis e o black metal exploratório dos Sunn =))), numa progressão que, tal como os sonhos, ganha intriga e enredo, mas não uma narrativa lógica. Rodrigues e os seus pares neste trio já estão em pleno pós-reducionismo. E, quem diria, um pós-reducionismo sensitivo, visual, todo ele feito de emoções… Rui Eduardo Paes (

An eruption of sound from the long-standing collaboration of violist Ernesto Rodrigues and Abdul Moimeme, here on prepared electric guitar, in a trio with unique percussionist Antez, whose intimate relationship with the percussive objects he uses creates a tectonic aural range of explosive flows and deeply churning cymbal vibration, caught live at Lisboa Incomum, in Lisbon. Squidco

The question that lingers over Magma, by the trio of violist Ernesto Rodrigues, guitarist Abdul Moimême and percussionist Antez, is whether the artists were conscious of the visual aspects created by their music. Of our five senses—taste, sight, touch, smell and sound—it is, of course, the perception of sound that we attribute to music. This is not about the observation of musicians going about their performance as much as the visuals created by the sound itself. Only the audience at Lisboa Incomum in February 2018 witnessed this performance. Captured here is this digital signal and the extraordinary images it creates in the mind's eye, or rather ear.
The recording is comprised of a single 44 minute free-improvisation track. Rodrigues and Moimême, mainstays of the Portuguese creative music scene, can be heard together on dozens of recordings. Whether the setting is a large ensemble like the Variable Geometry Orchestra, IKB and String Theory or in duos or solo, the pair stand out as trailblazers and explorers of sounds. They are joined here by Antez here, in a follow up to the trio's Basalto (Creative Sources, 2016). The thunderous opening gives way to an atmospheric resonance of frizzled electric and massaged strings.
Without having been at at this performance sometimes it is difficult to sort out which musician is making what sound. And maybe that is why this recording works. Forget the appellation of guitar, viola or cymbal, these sounds are conjured from primordial origins. Think the Big Bang or a time lapsed opening of a fern. Or don't, because the images this music makes in one listener's head can almost never be the same as those imagined in another's. Mark Corroto (All About Jazz)

The romance, or better to say a truly deep love story with trios and quartets continues in 2018 and 2019, as the above series illustrates perfectly. "Magma", recorded live at Lisboa Incomum in February 2018, is very special: it is a perfect presentation of the absolutely ingenious art of Abdul Moimême, one of the most important guitar players in the free improvised music. Of course, conversations with the viola of Ernesto, supported by delicate percussion of Antez, are important, but the main thing is the sound and phrasing of the prepared electric guitar. Exquisite!!! Maciej Lewenstein