Dries Tack - Adjacent Spaces [ Orlando Records - 2022]
Dries Tack is a Belgium-based clannists who creates abstract, at points quite noisy and seared work. After the likes of Luciano Berio, Stephen Eicher, and Mike Patton. Adjacent Spaces is his first solo album- which takes in six lengthy pieces, which utilize, of course, clarinets, as well as electronics and tapes.
The album appears on Austria’s Orlando Records, as a CD release- it comes presented in a glossy four-panel digipak. On its front and back cover, we get photos of faceless mannequins, and inside a thirty-page glossy booklet- featuring English and German texts, as well as photos including of Tack recording in the studio and abstract artwork.
The album opens with the most harmonic/structurally formal piece on this disc “Let Me Die Before I Wake” which was composed by Italian contemporary classical composer Salvatore Sciarrino in 1982. The nine-minute and fifty-second track is all about a series of warbling and wavering tones- these mid to high ranged notes at first mark out an almost lulling harmonic setting, but as it progresses more seared and sour notes are added into the pot, slowly twisting the once formal structure out of shape.
As we move on, we come to “Spitting 47” this piece was composed by Germanys Michael Maierhof- the ten-and-a-half-minute track is created by bass clarinet neck tones and splitters. With Tack creating a taut and slowly searing blend of breathy scrape, bucking bay, and sudden warbling sear- all sound like some sort of strange alien interaction.
In the second half of the album, we find “Spit Rudder” which was composed by Stockholm, Sweden’s Malin Bång. The just shy of eleven minute track is built around sudden improaching hisses, animalistic growls and whoops. With the album playing out with “As LONG AS you Love Me” this nearing nine-and-a-half-minute track was written by Korean composer Ui-Kyung Lee, and is for clarinet and tapes. The track is a rather manic and shifting tapestry of tinny bashes ‘n’ smashes, pained gurgling’s, scribbles and very compressed honk/ hisses. Making for a great puzzling end to the album.
With Adjacent Spaces Mr Tack certainly takes the Clarinet down some interesting and often surprising sonic pathways. Yet throughout his experimentation, he knows how to select intriguing as well as engaging work to cover.Roger Batty