Boomkat Product Review:
The on-form Moritz von Oswald takes a scalpel to tracks from Copenhagen's excellent TLF Trio, turning their hybrid chamber jazz into vibrationally flexual acoustic club music and the kinda ominous cavern drone biz we last heard on 'Silencio'. Absolute tip - essential listening if yr into anything from To Rococo Rot and Tara Clerkin Trio to Laurel Halo and Nala Sinephro.
We were knocked on our asses by TLF Trio's debut 'Sweet Harmony' last year. It's rare to hear a record that uses such familiar elements - in this case, the simmering post-jazz of bands like To Rococo Rot and 'TNT'-era Tortoise - and manages to flip them into something fresh and vital. Cæcilie Trier, Jakob Littauer and Mads Kristian Højlund Frøslev reunite on this chewable treat, contributing two toothsome new tracks, and inviting the great Moritz von Oswald to add his light touch to 'March-like, Wild', one of the album's highlights, and rare tape-only jam 'Foyer'. On the former, the dub techno innovator keeps things relatively subtle, spiriting the original track's fluttering rhythm into a pulse, smearing instrumental hits into groggy vortexes. There's no showboating here and that's for the best - von Oswald's core elements are all present, but using mostly acoustic sources he's able to highlight the palpitating electricity of his process. 'Foyer' might be even more striking, with lengthy sustained tones and muted percussion that's drowned in cathedral-like reverb to harmonise with the ominous sonics of 'Silencio', the producer's best work in decades.
If that wasn't enough to pique your interest, the two new compositions from TLF themselves are the icing on the cake. 'Chrome' is a slow-moving, cinematic sizzler, anchored by a blunt beat that asserts the band's place at the intersection of jazz, chamber music and club's fringiest mutations. Soft and melancholy, it's not overwhelmingly sad music, but charged with a pensive, insular energy that's only enhanced by its keen, unsoiled instrumentation. And on 'Purple' they follow that misty path, using negative space to intensify the disquiet and breaking the silence with sweeping strings. The track builds with rueful slowness, forming balletic patterns in the final act that motion towards a narrative without any of the expected soil and pomposity. It's expertly constructed, joyfully subtle music that reminds us of the kinetic energy between players, instruments and spaces, and the constant dialog between the club, the cabaret and the concert hall. Very good indeed.