Dirk Serries & Colin Webster - Light Industry [New Wave Of Jazz - 2020]Light Industry is jarring and often brutish improv release that features moments of angular playfulness & awkward mellow lull. The six-track/forty two minute CD release brings together Dirk Serries on acoustic guitar & Colin Webster on Alto Sax.
The release appeared in April of last year on Belgium’s New Wave Of Jazz- which is run/ curated by Serries- the label focuses in on the more extreme/ difficult side of improv/ modern composition. The CD is presented in the labels house style grey squares on white background minimal gatefold, which features inside a double-page write-up about the release from Guy Peters. The release was Ltd to 300 copies, and as of this review, the label still has copies available for purchase.
The album opens with “spring”- this just over eight-minute track drags you straight into the jagged & darting spirit of the release. It begins with a mixture of tight ‘n’ shifting strums and compressed-though-building honks- which creates a keen feeling of urgency and jarring discord. As the track continues the pair nice weave together, creating a scrubbing maelstrom of sound- but around the midway point just when you think things are about to kick off, the pair lessens the manic-ness for some still darting-but-playful swooned hovers, honks, and stutts- before once again turning up the tension & rapidity in the tracks last gasps.
By track three we've come to “Switch” one of the shorter early tracks of the album- it finds a gloriously nervy blend of chopping & changing struts, rapid honks & hissing bays- with the whole almost having an almost discordant funk vibe. “Blade” is the longest track here at a just over nine minutes, and it begins in fine lulling-off-angular manner- as Webster horn slowly wails & drifts, with Serries scuttling neck play/ darting twangs onto top. The feeling of uneven bittersweet-ness is wonderfully realized here- and as the track continues Webster horn becomes more rapid ‘n’ piping to shredding, with Serries guitar taking on a more jagging & jerking quality- all giving the vibe of flick knife fight happening a noir dance hall.
The album plays out with the four minutes thirty of “Nail”- here we find compressed & serrated almost blues like strums met by building sax tones- at first these are flattened bays before opening up into more ripping ‘n’ roaring pipes. Before playing out on a rather brooding and malevolent note, with bleakly tolling strums & forboding honks.
You do need to a fan of more fiery and angular improv to fully appreciate and enjoy what’s on offer on Light Industry. But I found it another worth addition to New Wave Of Jazz challenging-but-always interesting/worthy catalogue.Roger Batty