Boomkat Product Review:
Damn we weren't expecting this - Joachim Nordwall matches Mats Gustafsson's horns with doomsayer synth dirt on 'Their Power Reached', a frighteningly good marriage of free jazz skronk and psychedelic industrial weirdness.
Nordwall's been a reliable source of cross-genre entertainment for decades, both as a producer and unstoppable collaborator (as part of The Skull Defekts, Organ of Corti and more), and as a curator. Gustafsson is equally important in Swedish musical lore, having been involved in literally hundreds of projects and having worked with artists as diverse as Sonic Youth, Merzbow and Neneh Cherry.
'Their Power Reached' is a relatively restrained back-and-forth that doesn't need to show off either of its collaborators' estimable skillsets. Nordwall's gloomy synths are stripped back to a grim wheeze on opener, while Gustafsson joins with sustained breaths that grow into harmonic tones.The emotions shift as distortion encases Nordwall's dying toy bleats and Gustafsson flips from phlegmatic hums into manic squealing without so much as a warning.
The duo navigate dangerous waters with a middle finger to expectation. Industrial electronic music and free jazz might seem like fine bedfellows but the amalgamation is often too fussy and heavy handed. It works here because both Nordwall and Gustafsson appear to be completely at ease with not just each other but themselves; Nordwall's brooding electronics are minimal but never lifeless, and Gustafsson doesn't need to show us how quickly or fluidly he can play, he's able to instead concentrate his efforts on finding the best possible tone to slip into a groove that's got us dizzy with excitement. Really good this.