AAAMM – “A”Trio & AMM LP Review from “The Wire”

„A“Trio & AMM – AAMM LP

Unrock LP

Awareness focused in the fingertips;  close attention extended  through the hand’s grip and its versatile movements pressure of the prehensile thumb, flexing of the wrist. Percussionist Eddie Prévost and pianist John Tilbury transmit tactile sensitivity through their music, and sensations of touch evidently feed back into their acoustic imagination, prompting creative response. In the resonant space of Berlin’s St Elisabeth Church in August 2015, this vastly experienced duo AMM got together with three younger musicians from Beirut. The “A”Trio is trumpeter Mazen Kerbaj, double bassist Raed Yassin and Sharif Sehnaoui on acoustic guitar. The too make music that is physically involving, direct and sometimes raw in its vibrational immediacy , yet highly refined in terms of neural alertness. In the hands of Kerbaj the trumpet becomes a frictive implement, a rasping, bubbling, stridulating extension  of his body’s own flows and sensations. Yassin and Sehnaoui share that capacity to convey vital organic process through shades of opacity, sonic texture, density and weight. With almost feline tact and precision Tilbury nurtures points of luminosity, meticulously accented phrases, junctures of articulation. Prévost scrapes, bows and strikes, animating inert materials with consummate delicacy and fine detail. As a group these five closely attuned musicians envelope or burrow with one another’s playing without extraneous constraint or obstruction. Not only does this music-making embody involvement, it also actively enfolds its audience, extending through vibration to rub against and within the receptive listening body. Some music projects and represents , illustrates an idea or relays a vision. AAMM on the other hand is involute ; it embraces and wraps around. Film Theorist Laura Marks has made a case for haptic visuality, for cinema in which imagery “evades the distant view “ so that in effect the eyes may function as organs of touch and proprioception . This recording comparably invides haptic listening, its appeal is at once auditory and tactile. Precluding the distanced view, an isolation sense of separation and detachment , it draws its audience in close, as active participants in the experience, engaged in the elaboration of a sounding world.

Julian Cowley, The Wire, May2019.