Paul Grabowsky & Niko Schauble album




spiel resIt’s the endings that signal the singular rapport. Starting an improvisation is relatively straightforward: it merely requires an idea. But in the telepathic ability to end the pieces simultaneously (with no editing) you hear the long history of music-making shared by pianist Paul Grabowsky and drummer Niko Schauble. And they get plenty of practice, because this album consists of no less than 17 improvisations held to around five minutes or less. When one starts a piece the other latches on instantly, making concrete what was a flicker of the imagination. Those flickers range across a huge gamut of music, from hurtling shards of abstraction to slow-grind grooves. While many pieces teem with ideas and their consequent notes, one of the most striking is Zone of Avoidance, with its deathly minimalism, so the sounds suddenly loom out of a silence that seems wrapped in a fog. Elsewhere there is humour, drama, confrontation and fun – the usual gamut of a verbal chat, in fact, rendered in music by two friends on two instruments. Schauble also looked after the recording, achieving a floor-shaking bass drum sound.