Boomkat Product Review:
London-based double bass player Caius Williams deftly wrests a remarkable range of tonal voices from his unwieldy kit for Cafe Oto, comparable to Arthur Russell, Rhodri Davies, and Maxwell Sterling
“Across Gwannach's eight tracks Williams' playing spans a wide range of texture and tactility, that at times seems to conjure forth every bit of weight and heft of the instrument’s body and at other times barely seems to graze the strings.
Williams gives the impression of being fully present in every aspect of the performance, with the recordings capturing each hiss and rasp of bow on string, each shift and knock of palm on (wooden) body; embracing all of these aspects as being just as much of the whole as the resultant vibration of the strings.
There’s an undeniable abundance of technical prowess on display here, but this is no dry academic exercise, and the medium is never the totality of the message. Each of these tracks encompasses a broad swathe of approaches, from gritty fuzz and burr to harmonic-inflected lyricism, and an almost playful curiosity in approach that never feels forced. Above all you get the sense of a fully embodied performance, with each track being given just the right amount of space and depth that it requires.
The 'weakness' of the album's title can, at times, stand in stark contrast to the physicality of the performances, but perhaps we shouldn't take this too literally. After all, the relative strength of a single strand of horsehair may not withstand much, but it can still bring forth as much beauty as can be found here.”