dis/con/sent cs563









Beyond (perhaps subtly) novel combinations of instruments featuring bowed strings, Rodrigues also continues to explore more specifically traditional (& acoustic) formats, with another "string quartet" album already appearing: Dis/con/sent is also over an hour in length, this time in a suite of seven tracks (alternating long & short) recorded in Berlin in May by Dietrich Petzold (violin, viola, bowed metal), again with Ernesto & Guilherme Rodrigues, now joined by Matthias Bauer (who was new to me, although he's previously appeared on Creative Sources) on bass. In Rodrigues's recent output, Dis/con/sent might thus be compared directly to Crane Cries (discussed here in April) by a "true" string quartet (i.e. with two violins, although Petzold once again changes instruments), or to Theia (discussed here in July) by what I've dubbed a "jazz string quartet" (i.e. bass instead of a second violin). Dis/con/sent is rather different in tone from either, an impressive & imposing release that's often quite aggressive, although slower or more mysterious around extended techniques at times too: Indeed, the "bowed metal" makes a jarring entry within moments, but is used judiciously from there. Dis/con/sent also employs a wide array of 20th century string quartet technique, including in its ensemble interactions, making it an improvised successor to some of the most dissonant — yet conventionally motivic — music in that format. (It might thus also be compared to the recent Ignis Fatuus, another string quartet discussed here in August, in that case doubling cello, and with more of a romantic or wry sensibility around Honsinger....) Indeed, listeners who enjoy e.g. Bartok or Shostakovich might well enjoy Dis/con/sent, although it's that much more adventurous: It's highly contrapuntal, even as the counterpoint can be repetitive at times, extending continuity (per Eris), and even (perhaps) yielding to nostalgia by the end. (However, the fern cover art doesn't appear to be supported by the kinds of naturalistic evocations sometimes found on these string albums from Rodrigues....) Parts of Dis/con/sent end up being calming, but (perhaps as implied by the title) that's more internal to the suite of movements, rather than an overall result, which suggests something of an intentional symphonic form (presumably as spurred by Petzold) & shifting attitudinal dynamic. It makes for a weighty & sometimes almost intimidating album, difficult to hear as fully improvised.... Todd McComb's Jazz Thoughts