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PaNoPTiCoN - Live @ Windows CD (album) cover



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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars One of Brussel's best kept secret is the surprisingly strange Windows Club in a forgotten hideaway street, comprising of the back of the end of two XIXth century house, where you get to the stage by crossing ex-windows' openings, even if there are still two still existing. Generally a scene of Brussel's underground scene, the place is too discreet for its own good. PaNoPTiCoN's concert in late 07 there was only the sixth time in 20 years I've gone there, and it was as usual an interesting (and excellent) show Behind a fairly bland window artwork, the music recorded on this disc that night, is one of my faves from PaNoPTiCoN so far. I suspect that besides the permanent Domenico Solazzo (on drums, loops and programmation) and the fairly usual Antoine Guennet (keys) and Olivier Catala (bass), it is mostly the delicious Geraldine Clément's presence and delightful flute that has me convinced. Indeed, the flute is rare enough in PaNoPTiCoN's improvs that this gig might just make a difference, although she had to share the front stage with Lossignol's trumpet, while Fardelli's guitar remained mainly rhythmic.

That night's improvs was as usual, scarcely attended, but as always it allows for an intimacy between the players and its hardly-more-numerous audience (I am slightly exaggerating here, but making a point) and it worked quite well with the underground feel of the event. Indeed most of that night's improvisations remained in a Mwandishi and Vitous-era Weather Report mood that is always striking yours truly right in the bull's eye. The gig started on a slow Mise En Bouche (zakousky or appetizer in Anglais), where the rhythm stays quite calm to allow everyone to warm up and get into the gig, with the flute charming us. The following Critical Mass (For Complete Mess) is a slow crescendo, mostly dictated by Guennet's electric piano, but Clément's jazzy flute is just as cute as she is ? did I tell you I fell in love that night? Lossignol's trumpet did take over at the end, but the flute stepped in again for a slightly dissonant Heavy Eddie that started with no interruption (as often is the case). But then expanding in an all-out manic jam, just to die out naturally but surprisingly quick. Fardelli's tortured guitar strings open To Hell And Back, but Lossignol's smooth almost soothing trumpet contrast heavily with the atrocious death sounds delivered by Fardelli's guitar, while Guennet's Rhodes synths are supporting the weight of the improv's massive slow but crescendoing inertia. Wandering Souls is a quiet starting track that relies on a low guitar ostinato and electric piano layer with Solazzo's percussions completing the low and quiet picture, until Lossigbnol's sax goes into a solo, only accompanied by heavy guitar notes at first, but soon everyone has joined up

Indeed, that night's performance did blow most of the attendance and the windows of the joint, as the back cover artwork hints, it probably did the same to the club's interior windows. Unfortunately I think it was the last time Geraldine played with the project, so if my buddy Domenico wonders why I did not see PaNoPTiCoN for over a year, he might just get an idea if he lays his eyes on this baffling utterance.

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Posted Thursday, July 1, 2010 | Review Permalink

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