Lac Cao/Gregor Seidl/Wolfgang Seidl - Optimistic Modernism [Moloko+ Plus102 - 2019]Optimistic Modernism is fairly varied; at times unnerving and unsettling improv record- which finds these three seasoned improvisers severing an eight track release that apt shifts from sinister & dramatic, through to quirky & dada influenced, onto mysterious & busy. The release comes in the form of either a physical CD release, with 48-page booklet, or a digital download- we were sent just the download for review.
All three participants have a long history in the European experimental/ improvised/ modern classical genres. Lac Cao was initially trained as a modern classical pianist in Cologne and in Brussels Conservatories- but has found her sonic niche experimenting with sound- utilizing analogue synthesizer, amplified objects, prepared marxophone/zither & low-tech electronics. Gregor Seidl focuses his sonic passions of all things horn based- with creative & playful use of saxophone & clarinet, as well as the use of game- calls & water horn play. And Wolfgang Seidl, has a grounding in more experimental rock based improv, collaborating with the likes of Conrad Schnitzler in the 70’s- going onto be form important German experimental rock group Ton Steine Scherben.
Optimistic Modernism eight tracks are harvested from the trios three-plus hours of improvising- and as mentioned early it’s decidedly varied & wide-ranging in its type/ feel. We move from the jarring & wonky space-bound electro blinks & plops, meet simmer string, tolling gong, & brooding bass line hover of the opening track "Jettatura". Onto the manic honks ‘n’ blows, meets juddering percussion & manic electronic cartoon playful-ness of "Tarantism". Over to the drifting ghostly radio ebb & doomy pitch shifting piano keys ‘n’ strings gothic dramatics of "The Sixth Sense". Though to the cycling textural creaks & spins- meets- lower case pulsing-to- bubbling electronics, gabbling electro flotsam & jetsam, and quirky dread of "Barbican Estate".
Though-out Optimistic Modernism there is always a feeling of real purpose & focus present, as well as a true passion for creating both effective/ varied atmospheres and creative sound-play. If you’re a fan of decidedly hard to pin down improv- then I really feel you very much enjoy what this trio offer up on this album.Roger Batty