Isabelle Duthoit, voice
Axel Dörner, trumpet
Matthias Müller, trombone
Roy Carroll, electro-acoustic media
released October 3, 2018
recorded by Roy Carroll
at Donau 115, Berlin, 25th May 2016
mamü music #2
AVANT SCENA, October 15, 2018:
‘The Monophonic Havel’ is the newest release of ‘Mamu Music’. Album was recorded by Isabelle Duthoit (voice), Axel Dörner (trumpet), Matthias Müller (trombone) and Roy Carroll (electro-acoustic media). The music of this quartet is enchanting, innovative and charming. It’s another one great example of mixing together contemporary academical and experimental music, electronics, electro-acoustics, free improvisation and the basics of avant-garde jazz. This huge variety of conceptual playing styles, music genres and its elements, who are contrasting and absolutely different from each other, is masterfully and organically fused in one place. Musicians are creating together whole musical pattern and its sections. They frequently base their music on spontaneous musical decisions, free improvisation, drastic changes or surprising stylistic drifts to another bord of the musical language. Musicians try out new and innovative ways of playing, they break the usual rules, go out from the traditional sound zone to the fresh, bright and adventurous sound. The music is always filled with bright and original musical decisions, charming and modern instrumentation, astonishing musical experiments, special effects and other elements, who make an effort to remarkable and exceptional sound.
‘The Monophonic Havel’ has interesting and bright sound. The musical pattern is rich, independent, polyphonic and multi-layed. Each musician is improvising differently – all of them frequently experiment in form, sound, instrumentation, dynamics and harminic section. They integrate several elements of musical language in one place and get a new form, which is based on synthesis of open and conventional forms. The musicians aren’t following the rules of conventional improvising – they usually make extravagant, modern, bright, innovative or even outrageous musical decisions. The musical language is rich, expressive, modern and innovative. It’s based on abstract and specific form, difficult, solid and suggestive melodic section, pulsating, dynamic and interesting rhythmic, synthesis of acoustics and electronics, charming, adventurous and innovative instrumentation, wide range of scales, expressions and other elements of musical language. The music is filled with bright, gorgeous, interesting and experimental ways of playing, abbreviations, ornamentations and other expressions of musical language. Glissando, firm and short staccato, passionate and furiously fast passages, thrilling and hot solos, roaring ann explosing blow outs, sound experiments, viibrant tremolo, emotional and moving vibrato, expressive, remarkable and vivacious melodies, soft, silent, abstract or even poor and abandoned pieces – this huge diversity of various elements of musical language could be expanded much more. Musicians are the masters of precise and virtuosic playing, but they also are wonderful, touching, passionate and remarkable improvisers. Their improvisations have a marvelous mix between different forms, expressions and instrumentation’s playing techniques. Trumpet and trombone melodies are bright, vibrant, pneumatic, active and intense. The duos of two bright, loud and turbulent brasses are the most effective, gorgeous and expressive episodes of the album. It gives the main tune to all collective improvisations – two improvisers are using dozens of different playing techniques, motions and expressions. Roaring and turbulent blow outs, gentle, loud and extremely fast solos, virtuosic passages, colorful and passionate melodies, contrasting with dark, solemn, deep and firm trombone tunes and solid bass line. Trumpet melodies are vivacious, intense and filled with shrieky, franky and violent solos. Trombone is more tight, calme and deep than live, vivid and energetic trumpet. These two instruments have independent melodies who makes an opposite to each other. That brings polyphonic facture, expressive and live mood, active, energetic and intense playing, sharp harmony and many other elements of musical language. Voice melodies are full of wide range of different expressions and innovative instrumentation. Traditional playing techniques are mixed with soft whispers, wild hollows, unusual timbres, special sounds, bright and loud spoken- elements and other elements. Improviser demonstrates her wide, universal and interesting playing style, which is filled with dozens of different playing techniques and experimental ways of playing. Bright, violent, sharp, vivid and aggressive acoustics are gently mixed with electronics. Drone, glitch, modified and alterated sounds, imitations of various sounds, unusual, specific and outrageous timbres, bright and evocative melodic elements, somputer and electronic devices sounds, the intonations of sounds alterating machine, synthesizer, field recordings or other devices of electronics form gorgeous, colorful and modern musical pattern. The music of this album has bright, innovative and interesting sound.
HISVOICE, March 21, 2019:
Před dvěma lety založil Matthias Müller svůj vlastní label Mamü Music, na němž realizoval nejdříve své sólové CD (naše recenze zde) a loni na podzim vydal čistě jako digital release album The Monophonic Havel. Jeho titul odkazuje k vodnímu toku protékajícímu kolem Berlína a jednotlivé improvizace jsou pojmenovány podle dalších měst, kterými se ubírá jeho řečiště. I když se tady staví na akustické konverzaci, jejímiž mluvčími jsou tu kromě Müllera francouzská vokalistka Isabelle Duthoit a trumpetista Axel Dörner, je výsledkem zvláštní industriální suita, což umocňují výrazně elektroakustická média (v praxi tedy nejrůznější „haraburdí“, jež lze nějak zvukově uplatnit) v rukách původem irského performera Roye Carrolla. Ale nositeli tohoto indulstriálna jsou všichni. Nejde tu ovšem o nějaké hlukové stěny, ale opět tu vyniká vnitřní předivo, ovšem tkané úplně jinak než u Kern. Isabelle tomu přispívá či snad přizpívá hlasovým skřípěním, Axel pracuje se svými typicky minimalisticky tichými ale zde až kupodivu výraznými profuky a Matthias využívá celou plejádou technik. A opět je každé „zastaveníčko“ jiné a jakoby ambientně mapuje danou lokalitu se všemi jejími detaily a náladou.
FREEJAZZBLOG, May 04, 2019:
This is an interesting release. I was familiar with Dörner and trombonist Matthias Müller (owner of Mamu Music) but had never encountered vocalist Isabelle Duthoit or electroacoustic artist Roy Carroll before. Already at first listen, it became apparent that I had been missing out on some very creative musicians.
From the first hisses, wisps, and buzzes of the initial track, Werder, I was hooked. (I am not sure what to make of this, but each track is named after a city, district, or natural site in or around the German state of Brandenburg, located, notably or not, in the former East Germany.) The Monophonic Havel is reminiscent of Dörner’s work on the Creative Sources label (Fabula and nie come to mind). The music is general quiet, but it is not quite as expansive and delicate as some of his earlier forays into electro-acoustic minimalism. That said, I was not surprised discovering with a quick internet search that both Duthoit and Müller have recorded with Creative Sources, as well.
It took me a few years and an upgraded sound-system, but I have warmed to this style of music over the years. It still does not always resonate with me, but it certainly does on this album. Duthoit, Dörner, Müller, and Carroll’s sounds frequently entangle and fuse into an almost seamless, solid knot, only to emerge as separate threads again moments later. Sometimes I hear discrete trumpet, trombone, vocals, and other various sounds. Others, I hear layered drones, or ripples and slaps. At others, it sounds like breath (possibly conveyed through brass), wind, and faint ruffling that resemble an open-air field recording, albeit with intention.
Despite very balanced performances, I was most struck by Duthoit. I do not listen to much abstract vocal music. There are exceptions, but, too frequently, I find it either distracting or, after a good half-hour or so, tiresome. Duthoit may help change my mind. She is creative but reserved. She seems to have mastered an impressive vernacular range. She can blend with a horn or Carroll’s bag of electronic tricks. When necessary, she can simply breathe her way to the front, or surreptitiously fade into perception with one of her delightfully odd, throaty incantations. The skills she deploys here would be lost in most other situations. They shine here.
supported by 5 fans who also own “The Monophonic Havel”
unlike any sax/ string collaboration ive ever heard. leigh and brötzmann never try to overpower one another, instead, collaborating as one and respecting one anothers prowess, with each leading the music at various points while leaving room for the input of the other. i do want to shout out leighs ability to create chaos with her pedal steel without resorting to amp distortion, its amazing. ronnie dion