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ANTHROPODS Abundant Shores

CD album | gg469
Mark Holub’s (Led Bib, Blueblut) new band Anthropods returns with their second album. This follow-up to the warmly received self-titled debut album, described by Jazzwise as a, “richly eclectic set of enjoyable and unclassifiable music celebrating the joy of collectivity”, brings the band into new directions, exploring the spaces between composition and improvisation. The composition of the suite began at the culmination of two years of working together, Holub elaborates: Anthropods for me was always more about finding out what these five people sounded like together, rather than coming in with a clear direction in mind. With Corona restrictions lifting, we were finally able to tour again, allowing me to delve further into an understanding of what this band is. This understanding led me to the composition of the suite. The idea was to create a whole through composed set, where we could move between composition and improvisation freely. The composition works as a tool to give us areas to explore as improvisers. The album was conceived as one single piece and travels between all different extremes. There are moments of folk-like pastoral beauty, honking free jazz, heavy grooves, and soaring melodies. This may sound contradictory, or like diversity for its own sake, but Anthropods move through these zones completely smoothly, and the album is a journey from start to finish. Mark Holub – Drums, Clemens Sainitzer – Cello, Irene Kepl – Violin, Susanna Gartmayer – Bass Clarinet, Jakob Gnigler – Tenor Sax. Full tracklist: 1. Abundant Shores Parts 1 -8. Price: € 19,-/copy incl. worldwide shipping.

Die auskomponierte Grundstruktur wird ständig aufgebrochen, angereichert, hinterfragt… und die Improvisation macht auch vorm Sound nicht Halt: Free Jazz-Ausbrüche wechseln sich nahtlos mit meditativen Klangbögen ab, straighte Metren folgen auf freies Schlagzeug, Schönheit trifft auf expressive Eruptionen – und in Part 7 wirds beinahe schon jazz-rockig. Wie schon das Debütalbum ist Abundant Shores kein Mal-so-nebenbei-Release – und wie die erste Veröffentlichung lohnt sich die Auseinandersetzung mit Anthropods Klangkosmos wirklich. Empfehlung!
(Er-Em-Online, March 2024)

Sie hebt an mit Klangnebelschwaden und lyrisch brütenden Drones, die eher Spätzeitmelancholie sugge­rieren als Morgendämmerung, nur die Drums drängeln unternehmungslustig. Die Streicher stricheln diskant und nah an der Grasnarbe, Holub tupft und lässt leise die Be­cken rauschen, auch Pizzicato und Reeds stöbern nur, bis Holub mit knattrigen Schlägen den Betrieb in der Nah­rungskette beschleunigt. Doch dunkles Pianissimo schlä­fert das ein mit wieder sanfter Melancholie, bis Holubs Tockeln den pastoralen Frieden erneut in Schwung bringt, als twangenden Groove mit kecken Reeds und jaulig eskalierendem Gestrichel. Das kam­merjazzige Ostinato zerfasert in ein Saxsolo zu knattrigem Beat, die andern mischen sich kakophon dazu, lassen sich jedoch wieder in den nächsten Groove einbinden, dessen Uptempo zerrinnt in knarrigem, zwitschrigem, lauschendem Verharren, betropft von tickelnden und plonkenden Lauten zu Gniglerei und zirpenden Darmsaiten.
(Bad Alchemy, April 2024)

Das Album wurde als ein einziges Stück konzipiert und bewegt sich zwischen verschiedenen Extremen. Es gibt Momente folkloristischer, pastoraler Schönheit, hupenden Free Jazz, schwere Grooves und schwebende Melodien. Das mag widersprüchlich klingen oder nach Vielfalt um ihrer selbst willen, aber Anthropods bewegen sich fließend durch diese Zonen, und das Album ist eine Reise von Anfang bis Ende.
(Jazz Fun, April 2024)

Theres a chamber jazz sensibility about the playing here that continues as the music segues seamlessly into Part 2 with the sounds of strings and the furtive rustle of drums and percussion. Kepls high register violin bowing sounds almost bird like at times. Theres a delicate free jazz sensibility here as the musicians converse quietly and with great sensitivity, one can almost hear them thinking. Gradually the improvisations become more vigorous with Sainitzer introducing plucked cello bass lines and Holub a skittering, polyrhytmic drum groove as the reeds begin to express themselves more forcefully, with Gniglers tenor sax coming to the fore. The leaders drums continue to drive the music as the strings introduce jagged bowed lines and the music continues to gather an impressive and dramatic momentum before finally blowing itself out, the movement eventually ending as quietly as it began.
(The Jazzman, April 2024)

The emphasis is on texture andthere is a sonic consistency emanating from the characterful instrumentation and playing. As drummer Holub provides the defining commentary throughout and the piece arcs gently to an unexpectedly tidy resolution. Its satisfyingly serious music that is, nevertheless, an entertaining listen.
(Jazzwise, April 2024)

This concept opens many options for individual, improvised interpretations that often explore different sonic extremes, but make Abundant Shores sound bigger than its parts. The deep, emphatic dynamics of Anthropods allow these shifts in moods and intensity to flow naturally and the suite moves organically between sparse moments of impressionistic soundscapes, folk-like pastoral beauty, fiery and restless free jazz, heavy grooves, and soaring melodies. Slowly, this suite draws you deeper and deeper into its mysterious, nuanced narrative, with its many sonic charms and inventions, and, obviously, its articulate, rich voices, and the unique sound that only Anthropods has.
(Salt Peanuts, April 2024)

Its adventurous music, with a lot of small details to be enjoyed. This might even sound better live, although the recording has a live feeling to it. Favorite track for now is part 5 with its incessant bass line in bass clarinet, as I wrote earlier, the segment reminds me of krautrock and a surprising break and coda. Excellent stuff.
(Vital Weekly, April 2024)