The Forestry Commission - Frost Burning [FMR Records - 2019]Frost Burning is an edgy-yet-darting improv record, which nicely sits between taut moody atmospheric & at times seared manic-ness. This seven track CD is the first release from The Forestry Commission- a trio that brings together Bulgarian violinist Biliana Voutchkova, German double bass Alexander Frangenheim, and German pianist Antonis Anissegos.
The album's total runtime is forty-four minutes- with each track running between five and nearing eight minutes. All the tracks are simply titled Archive, and the first finds a blend of moody ‘n’ cascading keys, jerking bows & cheeky creeks- and from you off you can tell these guys know how to weave tension, flair & creativity well. By "Archive 3" we find things have turned decidedly skating & shrill- with rapid ‘n’ scrubbing string work, bass neck sounds, and sudden darts of keys- towards the end, it almost takes on a waltz hillbilly skipping ‘n’ bobbing feel to proceedings.
As we move towards the back end of the record we have "Archive 6" with its tangled/ stop-start key runs, wondering bass, twisting & baying strings. Moving to the final "Archive 7" we have pitter-pattering high-end key runs, blended with manic-to- rapid neck runs, string creeks- all creating a nicely manic end to proceedings- through every so often in the keys drift into more semi harmonic atmospherics.
Frost Burning is a good enough debut release from this trio- and if you dig largely taut & edgy improv I’d say give it a go, though at times some of the tracks did feel a tad interchangeable.Roger Batty