Christopher Schiller & Tomás Cabado - Unconscious Collections [Another Timbre - 2020]
Unconscious Collections is a three-track CD that moves from jarring & moody improv, though to composed modern composition. The album appears on the always worthy Another Timbre, and if you enjoy unpredictable, though darting and atmospheric sound-making, I think you’ll enjoy what we have on offer here.
The release brings together Argentina Tomás Cabado on guitar, objects and recordings. And German-born Christopher Schiller on spinet and objects. The first track is improvised, with the other two tracks been composed by either one of the pair.
We open with “June 26th”- this comes in at just a tad over fourteen minutes mark, and finds the pair mapping out an eventful & often fairly jarring slice of improv, which nicely uses gaps of silence in a rewarding manner. The piece moves from creepy breath like slides- that are edged with knocks, wines & textural crinkles. Onto blends of moodily cut string picks, neck slides and grimly sailing forks. There’s a keen sense of careful & precise sound detail here, with the pair building a wonderfully mysterious and at points surreal sonic canvas, which is full of surprise & unease.
Next up we “from ‘schachtel’” this nearing ten and a quarter minute track is composed by Christopher Schiller. It brings together fragile & fraught spinet twangs, with awkwardly angular guitar picks- these are edged by drifting-to- sparse sound soap of clipped drone hovers, distant & unease voices/ radio chatter, and eerier knocks. The track portrays nicely a feeling of apprehension, and soured atmospheric- and at points, one gets an almost gone wrong children's music box vibe.
Lastly, we have “Basel Species” this is composed by Tomás Cabado and is the longest track here at just over twenty-four minutes and thirty seconds. The track starts fairly fluid and gummily sprightly in its blend of forlorn almost bluegrass turned guitar strums, spidery like spinet darts and brief breaks. As we progress a pressing, at points balance waving mid-range drone/ feedback tone rises, and between the slowly spreading out clusters of both guitar & spinet- it glows. Also, as we carry on both the stringed elements become more downturned, glum, and less harmonic- with at later points an almost sparse crawling doom quality coming into play- through the whole thing is still very much rounded by downbeat bluegrass/ country vibe.
I’ve now heard a few another Timbre releases with Christopher Schiller, but this is the first I’ve heard with Tomás Cabado- and I must say the pair work very well together. It’s nice to have the blend of improvised and composed tracks on Unconscious Collections- and all in all it’s another most worthy release from Another Timbre.Roger Batty