The Wisseltangcamatta

Indes
Umland Records 11

Even more assured the second time around, Wisseltangcamatta, the Köln-based trio with the unwieldy name, has elaborated an accomplished strategy for polished, minimal improvisation which works for each member and Indes, its second CD, shows it off to best advantage.

Just because the playing is accomplished and subdued doesn’t mean that robust feeling isn’t communicated during the six selections though. Each player has extensive experience in this genre, alto saxophonist/clarinetist Georg Wissel with the likes of Paul Lytton and Joker Nies for instance; percussionist Simon Camatta with The Dorf orchestra and smaller groupings; and bassist Achim Tang with just about everyone from Jon Irabagon to Philip Zoubek.

Although the program begins quietly with tolling pulses and appropriately concludes with proportionately measured squeaks, peeps and clatters, the pivotal point about this session lies in tracing how each individual symbolically paints sound colors so that they blend sfmuato-like into a sonic canvas. Beginning with “Indes 2”, Camatta’s rubs and rattles shadow Wissel as he uses his prepared saxophone to liberate novel patterns from within his reed and metal functions. Meanwhile Tang’s aggrandizing ostinato provides the steadying bottom.

Eventually as the narrative circles back onto itself, reed tone retches, cymbal clatter and string spiccato fuse into a flat-line narrative. While the exposition on subsequent tracks made be tougher and thicker and escalate to more pronounced and excited sequences, another notable improvisation occurs on “Indes 4”, with instances of Wissel’s idiosyncratic clarinet styling. Despite Tang’s sul ponticello slides and Camatta’s shuddering rolls and pops almost limiting the triple interaction to stasis, Wissel moving his timbral showcase from moderato contralto to speedy, squeaky upsurges, awakening the other to output more unconventional vibrations, leading to a climax that`s pounding, pulsating and palatable.

Masters of saying more with less and portraying ideas at a low volume, this CD by the members of Wisseltangcamatta is worth investigating to see how they communicate their view of the (musical) world. As good as the session is however, a new band name could help create wider recognition for its work though.

—Kern Waxman

Track Listing: Indes: 1. Indes1 2. Indes 2 3. Indes 3 4. Indes 4 5. Indes 5 6. Indes 6

Personnel: Indes: Georg Wissel (prepared alto saxophone and clarinet); Achim Tang (bass) and Simon Camatta (drums and percussion)