www.jazzword.com, August 7, 2015; Agusti Fernandez / Zlatko Kaučič: Sonic Party (2015)

Sonic Party documents a live meeting between Catalan pianist Agusti Fernandez and Slovenian percussionist Zlatko Kaucic. Unlike similar encounters with his countryman Ramon Lopez, all the selections here are generated on the fly. Such pairings accentuate the percussive nature of the piano, and all the more so because Fernandez is one of the greatest proponents of this in his determined delving into the keyboard's innards. In spite of residence abroad and appearances throughout Europe since 1975, Kaučič 's discography remains relatively slight, though it does include collaborations with heavyweight saxophonists such as Evan Parker, Peter Brötzmann and Steve Lacy.

Credited with ground drums, Kaučič majors on unconventional textures and seems more a percussionist rather than drummer. His tendency toward the higher pitches through untethered cymbals and gongs counterbalance the pianist's rich voicings. He is less concerned with momentum than prospecting coloration and timbre. As a collaborator, Kaučič proves receptive and most importantly transparent, allowing sufficient space for Fernandez' parts to stand out, as on "Sirob" where he joins partway through, but only to embellish a very quiet minimalist passage. If anything perhaps there is a tad too much empathy and not enough assertion from the Slovenian.

As ever Fernandez exploits the potential of the entire instrument. While he taps into a deep vein of lyricism, like that revealed on his El laberint de la memoria (Mbari, 2011) in the opening "Us And Other's," later in the same cut he also evokes Cecil Taylor with his dashing evenly articulated lines and call and response between the registers. His piano preparations blend well with the metallic percussion on both the title track and "Lonci" where he scrapes and rubs on the strings creating broad slabs of sound until ultimately it becomes impossible to tell who is doing what. On "Monde," after a delicate extemporized melody, Fernandez once again switches his attention to the piano interior where his manipulations resonate with Kaučič 's chimes and exotic sonorities. It's a favorite gambit winningly explored throughout this set.

(John Sharpe)

www.jazzword.com, 6 Novembre 2014; Zlatko Kaučič/Augustí Fernández

Recorded live slightly more than a week apart at different European festivals, two accomplished piano-drums duos demonstrate the width and breadth of concentrated improvisations on these discs.

All the players are peripatetic veterans, who have worked with other masters of the genre(s) like saxophonists Peter Brötzmann and Evan Parker; and each set of players brings am individual sensibility to the interface. Perhaps by happenstance the two Southern Europeans – Spanish pianist Augustí Fernández and Slovenian percussionist Zlatko Kaučič Zlatko Kaucic appear more committed to the Jazz tradition, while the two Northern Europeans – Swedish pianist Sten Sandell and Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love – operate more within the realm of Free Music. Each approach is equally suitable and significant

Partners in other affiliations, Nilssen-Love and Sandell consecrate this CD’s extended tracks to expressions of power and passion. Almost two decades older than the drummer, and closer to the first flowering of Energy Music, the pianist invests his solos with keyboard stabs, internal strums, overwhelming glissandi, plus overall dynamics, rife with restrained violence and up-front patterning. At the same time his all-encompassing pianism doesn’t interfere with his chromatic sense. Each one of the performances moves confidentially forward. As for the drummer, his bumps, wiggles and cymbal splashes illuminate and accompany the piano part. Sophisticated in his voicing, he allows barely-there clanks to take centre stage with the same facility which he brings to inflating splattered rhythm enlargement. Preparations, including distinctive bell-pealing come from both players. Plus Sandell creates innovative tones by yodeling and growling within the piano innards as well as occasionally vocalizing out loud.

“Kauri” is the defining performance here. High frequency and often bellicose in his touch, Sandell at points appears to be physically digging into the instrument’s innards. At the same time it seems as if he’s fishing individual notes from among his tone clusters. A climax is reached when menacing chords reverberate in tandem with the pianist murmuring into the piano’s inner architecture. Reverting to a tremolo line with echoes of both waltz and boogie-woogie, Sandall gives way to a trenchant solo from Nilssen-Love where the cymbals and toms sound as if they’re being rolled on the ground. Descending drum rustles and clattering key cadenzas complete the piece with boppish efficiency.

Bop isn’t part of the equation on Sonic Party’s seven improvisations. As animated, but less frenetic and percussive in their playing as Sandell and Nilssen-Love, only a year apart in age and over 60, Kaučič and Fernández share a distinctive sophistication in their textural elaborations.

Instructively though, the Spaniard and Slovenian put a finer point on their explorations, polishing textures so that they occasionally take on a recital-ready sheen. Formalist enough to set up a pattern, expose it, and then extends it with variations, that decorum doesn’t stop the two from playing further out as well. Even during the first couple of tracks there are portions within which the pianist’s staccato, contrasting dynamics move into experimental Cecil Taylor-like territory, and the drummer’s curt yet complementary rolls, jump and bounce as they approximate Sunny Murray territory.

During passages left open for individual expression plus vamping interface, neither man confines himself to standard archetypes either. Fernández especially prepares his instrument with a variety of lures and manipulators. On “Lonci” for instance, his string slides, stabs and plucks resonate as far as the piano’s backboard, while the mini cymbals and metal bowls apparently tossed on the string-set create electro-acoustic-styled oscillations providing the action with unique tension and finally release. As carefully as the drummer whacks his kit, Fernández uses hard keyboard slaps as punctuation and scene changers.

From his part of the stage, Kaučič’s crucial strategy is to stimulate not pulverize. It’s almost as if he’s using a fish hook attached to his sticks to gingerly draw out the proper drum textures. Plus his cymbal resonations often appear delicate enough to vibrate a tea cup. On the other hand, when the pianist responds to this exposition with vivid tremolos, as on “Free Nest”, the drummer reverts to background accompaniment to preserve the flow of the improvisation.

By the aptly names final track, “The Hug” both men have succinctly proven that together and alone their playing can be confrontational and calming depending on the situation. Hurried but not hell-bent; dissonant but not atonal; this dual facility means that the conclusive sentiment taken away from this meeting is that of close-knit cooperation.

That both duos can express this without neglecting continuous evolution in their musical meetings is a tribute to all four participants.

(Ken Waxman)

www.jazzconvention.net, 16 Novembre 2014; Agusti Fernandez & Zlatko Kaucic - Sonic Party

Un sabba, piu che un party. Un esplorazione delle regioni scure del suono e di silenzi inquieti. Una poesia incupita ma anche lieve, a tratti. Un pianoforte che evoca le voci della terra ed percussioni che suonano talora come arpe eoliche agitate dal vento scatenato dalla tastiera mentre e in altri momenti aumentano la gia rovente temperatura del disco. Non fa sconti questo duo composto da improvvisatori esperti (entrambi sessantenni) e autenticamente liberi come il catalano Agusti Fernandez e lo sloveno Zlatko Kaucic. Il loro percorso si snoda fra atmosfere tempestose e scarsi momenti di calma. Il pianista fa sentire solo raramente il lirismo scheggiato di cui ha dato prova in tante occasioni precedenti. La sua poesia e qui tempestosa, ossessiva, magmatica. Il piglio con cui affronta i vari brani e prevalentemente percussivo e le sue mani cercano molto spesso le sonorita piu profonde della tastiera, in cerca di gorghi di suono, di tsunami acustici. I ground drums di Zlatko Kaucic supportano con una levita stranita il furore che emana dal pianoforte. Se Fernandez evoca gli spiriti sotterranei, il suo partner sembra affidarsi di piu a quelli del vento. E su questo "contrasto" si snoda quasi tutta la vicenda di questo cd, intessuta di improvvisazione allo stato puro, terribilmente evocativa, quasi selvaggia. i due strumentisti lasciano davvero poca tregua all'ascoltatore C'e un'atmosfera aspra, quasi da anni '70, nelle loro improvvisazioni.

Come spesso accade in queste situazioni, la musica e intrisa di sperimentalismo e di arcaismo - E basata sulla ricerca di suoni grezzi ed ineducati ma anche, in qualche maniera cerebrali e raffinatissimi. E un paradosso noto a chi frequenta la musica di ricerca, a partire dalla Sagra della primavera per arrivare a Cecil Taylor.

Un dato e certo: Sonic party non e un disco fatto per lisciare il pelo nel verso giusto. Non fa niente per mettere l'ascoltatore a proprio agio. E, in qualche maniera, una sfida continua.

La musica che restituisce non e certo sconvolgente per la sua originalita; non e certo nuova o inedita anche se rifugge tuttavia da manierismi di qualsiasi tipo, anche da quelli del free jazz. E , al contrario, attraversata da una grande sincerita, da un'autentica urgenza espressiva, da un debordante desiderio di urlare ritmi e silenzi.

Non sempre questa sincerita di intenti, questo furore poetico risulta pero convincente. Alla fine di ogni ascolto si ha sempre una sensazione di incompletezza, di "deja entendu". La musica sembra un po' avvitarsi su sé stessa, sembra perdersi nei gorghi di note create dagli interpreti. Sonic Party e la storia di cinquantacinque minuti di musica ardente e tumultuosa che pero lascia, alla fine , poche tracce.

(Marco Buttafuoco)

www.cuadernosdejazz.com, diciembre - 2014; Agustí Fernández, dúos con Mats Gustafsson/Zlatko Kaučič/Marco Colonna

Sonic Party
Agustí Fernández (p, p prep), Zlatko Kaučič (bat)
Eslovenia, junio de 2013 Not TwoRecords MW912-2

Lo mismo encontramos en el álbum junto al esloveno Zlatko Kaučič, en el que de nuevo el diálogo se impone como motor esencial de la música. El enfoque de Fernández es distinto, como no podía ser de otra forma al estar frente a un instrumento tan diferente, y Kaučič da muestra de una fascinante paleta sonora y una aproximación a la percusión más rica y elocuente de lo que cabría esperar. Sonic Party no es tampoco un crudo choque de improvisadores exacerbados, sino –nuevamente– un conversación inspirada e inteligente.

(Yahvé M. de la Cavada)

JAZZCOLOURS, Novembre 14. 2014; Augusti Fernández e Zlatko Kaučič SONIC PARTY

Quando un pianista ed un percussionista si incontrano sul terreno dell’estemporaneita, e sempre facile finire nel topos del piano che si avvale di ambientazioni percussive e di percussioni che fanno da cornice a paesaggi colorati da un piano. Non e questo il caso della presente uscita discografica, registrata in duo da uno fra i piu raffinati pianisti d’improvvisazione, in senso lato, lo spagnolo Agustí Fernández, ed uno — e forse il piu originale — dei non numerosissimi percussionisti di ricerca europei, lo sloveno Zlatko Kaučič. Pubblicato per i tipi della NotTwo, questo loro “Sonic Party” da vita davvero ad una festa di sonorita, da entrambi i lati, senza che uno sia semplice ponteggio al playing dell’altro. Si va da una sorta di dialogo melodico dove alle promenade di Fernández sulla tastiera le piu tenui percussioni di Kaučič rispondono planando quasi sulle figure ritmiche, in Us and Other’s, ai rubato di Sonic Party, in cui e il piano ad imitare le pennellate dei piattini o dei picchiettii di Kaučič, fino ad una nervosa ma infuocata cavalcata di entrambi nello spazio — forti, qui, gli echi di Taylor nel pianismo di Fernández — con uno spumeggiante pre-finale. Lonci probabilmente rappresenta il momento piu emblematico dell’intero album, un vaporoso calderone al cui interno gorgogliano le corde preparate, oggetti e bradisismi vari, puntualmente arricchiti, impreziositi, dallo sferruzzio di Kaučič, da quello piu sfrigolante al piu ineffabile: una ricerca timbrica resa a tutto campo, sicuramente frutto di attento studio ma qui consegnata all’assoluta estemporaneita del momento, le cui acusmatiche sonorita traggono la fantasia verso le piu surreali ambientazioni. Anche Sirob e un brano “sonico”, ma e piu incisivamente “suonato”, con piccole gocce di note sospese e tasti ribattenti che precipitano pesanti in bruschi scrosci: Kaučič si inserisce quasi a meta con uno scampanare bucolico ed imprime una tensione fatta di silenzi e impercettibili percussioni, rotti dal lavorio di Fernández all’interno della sua cassa armonica. Gran senso di liberta trasmette Free Nest, lo sciamare del piano e il crepitare delle bacchette s’ingrossa gradualmente fino all’esplosione finale. La leggerezza di Monde fa pensare ad una cosmogonia: dall’algido silenzio siderale si staccano a poco a poco dei suoni piu tiepidi, densi, gonfi, e le percussioni si confondono con le fantasie timbriche provenienti dal piano preparato. Clusters di note e fruscii di vario spessore si rincorrono tracciando il perimetro di The Hug, brano saltellante e pindarico, che tuona fra sussulti di bassi e colpi di cassa, spegnendosi sul registro dei sovracuti e dell’appagato silenzio che prelude all’applauso finale. Due musicisti raffinati e molto particolari, ciascuno dotato di un’ampia paletta espressiva ma soprattutto della non comune sensibilita di rispondere all’istante alla creativita musicale dell’altro.



Sonic Party continues Not Two’s recent documentation of Slovenian percussionist Zlatko Kaučič, this time in a duo with the formidable Agustí Fernández. Kaučič has been an established presence throughout Europe since the 70s, though his recorded output has really only picked up in the last decade or so. This is a happy development: Kaučič is a wildly creative player with an nearly endless array of clicks and dings and patters. On Sonic Party his rapid articulation—at times not unlike drummers such as Paul Lytton or Raymond Strid—is well-matched against Fernández’s frantic stream of ideas.

The album opens with two pieces of traditional (for lack of a better word) free improvisation: blistering runs on the piano and flying hands and drumsticks. “Sonic Party” steadily accelerates until it’s difficult to believe Fernández’s fingers will stay attached to his body. At its boiling peak, it levels off into a expanse of ringing notes, which eventually dwindle to silence. What’s never lost on Sonic Party is a gleaming clarity, no matter how much steam it picks up.

But for all the clattering, roiling pieces of improvisation, the duo forms the strongest bond when the pace is slowed down and Fernández enters the interior of the piano. On “Lonci” and “Mondze,” his preparations and experimentation with dampening and stretching the piano strings bring him much closer to Kaučič’s sonic wheelhouse, and the two blend into a single sound source, one that eventually builds into a thundering, frightening ambience that threatens to overwhelm the senses.

“Sirob” begins with a long Fernández solo that swoops and circles around an insistent dance of two notes. He’s soon focused on a cluster of high notes, which sound wistful and serene after the preceding tumult. But when Kaučič finally enters, the tone changes dramatically: suddenly what’s conveyed isn’t tranquility, but great tension. It’s a remarkable lesson in context and the ways small musical decisions can powerfully redirect a performance. “Free Nest” is yet another reminder of the force Fernández can generate with his piano: like a crushing vacuum, he can suck all the air out of the room. The piece ends abruptly in full crescendo, and a few people chuckle nervously in the audience, breathless and overwhelmed.

“The Hug” closes the album with an intense workout in the lower octaves of the piano, like arms wrapped around you that are slowly squeezing tighter and tighter. Eventually the grip loosens—it was all in good fun!—and the performance ends with faint cymbals and the soft clicking of keys, the piano strings no longer making a sound. It’s a nice encapsulation of what Sonic Party represents as a whole: a virtuoso stroll through the halls of improvisational history, from the most raucous free jazz to the lightest of reductionist touches.

(Dan Sorrells)


Združitev velikanov zvočnega prostranstva vedno dvigne obrvi, še posebej pa na tistem koncu glasbene industrije, kjer glavni cilj ni zlitje fenovskih baz ali kakšna drugačna marketinška poteza, temveč predvsem združitev sposobnosti in doživljanja pri ustvarjanju. Slednje sta lani, premierno na mariborskem jazz festivalu Lent, storila Zlatko Kaučič in Agusti Fernandez. Oba priznana in izkušena improvizatorja že vrsto let aktivno dokazujeta verziranost v igranju svojega inštrumenta. Prvi na raznovrstnih tolkalih, drugi na klavirju.

Album Sonic Party je pravzaprav posnetek koncerta, ki se je zgodil na Lentu, in nam kot tak ponudi odličen vpogled v dinamiko živega nastopa, kar je za glasbo te sorte precej na mestu. Prva skladba otvori album s klavirskimi frazami, ki sprva ne dajo slutiti, da tukaj ne gre za klasičen jazz album, temveč s svojim rahlim poigravanjem ustvari prijetno vzdušje, ki se hitro, a previdno, z dodajanjem tolkal, začne stopnjevati ter komplicirati in tako poslušalcu postopno dviguje zanimanje, brez da bi ga pomanjkanje očitnih opornih točk v zvočju morda pregnalo. Uvodna skladba ima tako poleg funkcije ogrevanja uigranosti nastopajočih tudi nalogo priprave poslušalca na celotno izkušnjo koncerta.

Po prehodu na drugo skladbo, ki nepozornemu poslušalcu hitro uide, izvajalca jasneje naznanita, da bo to poslušanje, poslušanje detajlov zvočnega potenciala klavirja in arsenala tolkal, poslušanje dveh glasbenikov, ki ju ne zanimajo ustaljene vloge inštrumentov, temveč raje skupno preigravanje in ustvarjanje zvočne slike, ki presega običajne poslušalske izkušnje. Bolj ko se gibljemo proti sredini nastopa, manj je jasna forma. Še posebej ko začnejo v ospredje prihajati škripajoči zvoki prepariranega klavirja, ki ga Fernandez tekom koncerta sproti prilagaja. Skupaj jima uspe ustvariti napeto in razgibano vzdušje, ki mu kljub odsotnosti pretiranega ponavljanja uspe priklicati trans vzbujajoče stanje.

Proti sredini albuma sta za poslušalca samo še dve možnosti. Ali totalno obupa nad pomanjkanjem ustaljenih form v glasbi ali pa se naleze ustvarjalčevega zagona in predanosti pri ustvarjanju zvočne drame ter se preda neobremenjenosti in svobodi zvočnih dražljajev, ki na neki način izkušnjo dvignejo nad samo poslušanje ter jo približajo lucidnemu sanjarjenju. Pri tem je treba omeniti, da izvajalcema verjetno šteje v prid, da se oba poleg glasbe ukvarjata tudi s poučevanjem ter imata tako nekaj dodatnega znanja o tem, kako ljudem nekaj neznanega ali tujega narediti lažje za sprejeti, tudi ko gre za zapletene improvizacije. Teh na albumu ne manjka.

Da gre za posnetek v živo, nam ploskanje publike izda šele po peti skladbi Free Nest, ki tudi prva prodre iz na splošno bolj umirjenega vzdušja ter na koncu skandira v frenetično prebiranje tipk v spremljavi činel, ki se hitro po vzponu tudi odrezajoče zaključi. Drugo polovico nastopa, tako kot zaključek skladbe Free Nest, zaznamuje bolj razburkano preigravanje obeh izvajalcev, za razliko od prvega dela nastopa, ki deluje bolj intimno. Kar pa ne pomeni, da duo poslušalca kdaj pusti prikrajšanega. Ravno nasprotno skozi celoten nastop poslušalca pelje skozi vse vzpone in padce v dinamiki iskanja skupnega jezika pri igranju. Trenutki, ko je dogajanje dovolj redko, da pravkar slišano pusti navdihujoč vtis, so relativno redki in kratki, a le zato, ker izvajalca hitro najdeta novo nit, po kateri se spustita v nov val iskanja asociacij in zvokov, ter s tem pustita malo prostora za kaj drugega kot pozorno poslušanje.

Album je tako zvočna poslastica za vse, ki si pojma glasba ne omejujejo preveč z okviri glasbe srednjega toka, ali tiste ki jazza ne vidijo samo v konvencionalnih strukturah, ki so se tekom zgodovine uveljavile znotraj žanra. Ne nazadnje album predstavlja nov mejnik za domači jazz, ki si zasluži pozornost, ob bok pa se postavi tudi mednarodnim sodobnikom avant-jazza.


www.sigic.si, 10. september 2014; Poglobljeno mnogozvočje

Na letošnjem ljubljanskem jazz festivalu so mnogi kot enega od vrhuncev bogatega in raznovrstnega dogajanja izpostavili nastop dua našega tolkalca Zlatka Kaučiča in španskega pianista Agustíja Fernándeza. Intenziven koncert je ponudil tako zvočne kot vizualne užitke; ne le da je pianist po vrsti bolj klasičnih inštrumentalistov na tem glasbilu, ki smo jih slišali na letošnjem festivalu, posegel po »drobovju« klavirja in izdatno izrabil možnosti klavirskih strun in perkusivnega igranja, temveč je tudi Kaučič z enkratnim kompletom talnih bobnov ponujal pašo za oči s svojim hitrim odzivanjem, skrajno koncentracijo in široko paleto tehnik. Njuna medsebojna uglašenost je toliko bolj navdušujoča, če vemo, da sta prvič koncertirala šele lani na JazzLentu, kjer so tudi nastali posnetki za pričujoči album, ki ga brez zadržkov lahko postavimo med vrhunce domačega in svetovnega jazza!

Album Sonic Party se začne s počasno pianistično igro, z melodičnimi linijami, ki ne dajo slutiti, kakšna burja nas čaka v nadaljevanju. Medtem ko Fernández meditativno prebira tipke, naš tolkalec s svojim izvirnim kompletom talnih bobnov na številnih zvočilih počasi že intenzivira sproti porajajočo se glasbo. Po tem uvodnem ali vsaj pripravljalnem komadu (ki je s svojimi dobrimi štirimi minutami tudi najkrajši) pa se dvojec že v nadaljevanju poda v viharno mnogozvočje, ki nas z le občasnim umirjanjem tempa popolnoma prevzema vse do konca te izjemne stvaritve.

Če se torej dvojec spočetka še podaja po poljanah in obzorjih »klasičnega« svobodnjaškega muziciranja, kjer ima poslušalec občutek, da glasbi brez čustvenih ali miselnih preglavic lahko sledi toku zvočenja, se že na sredini programsko naslovljene druge skladbe, Sonic Party, stvari temeljito zasučejo. Najprej, tako se zdi, navznoter, saj začne pianist posegati po občutljivi notranjosti svojega glasbila, nato pa postane kaj kmalu jasno, da od te točke dalje ni vrnitve, da se svobodni, neobremenjeni, navdihnjeni in izjemno gibljivi, sproti nastajajoči tok suče v več smeri hkrati, ne da bi glasbenika za hip izgubila čut za zvočno središče in programsko osišče svojega ustvarjanja. Res, dogajanju je težko slediti neobremenjeno ali »ležerno«, kajti to ni godba za nezbrano ali mimobežno uho; od nas terja popolno predanost in zlitje s slišanim, tako kot je slišati, da je ta neukanljiva muzika začarala in vase potegnila oba svoja tvorca.

Čeprav se skladbe z albuma pretakajo druga v drugo, nas semterja kaka posebej omreži. Denimo skladba Sirob (palindrom od Boris, kot je ime Kaučičevemu bratu in jazzovskemu poznavalcu, ki mu je album posvečen) nas z nekonvencionalnimi zvoki spomni na tako opevani (a redko doseženi) »stik z naravo«. Skladbo namreč pelje zvok, ki spominja na prodnate kamenčke, ki se na samo njim umeven način v imaginarnem rečnem ali morskem toku kotalijo in vrtinčijo v hipnotičen vrtinec. Naš občutek, da pričujemo glasbi, ki na svojevrsten način povzema »naravnost« in spontanost, dodatno okrepi naslov naslednje skladbe, Free Nest, in kajpak njena lomljiva (z)gradba, ko iz brbotanja tolkal pianist prevzame besedo in se poda v zgoščeno »tipkanje«, ki v nas pusti vtis vrtoglavega, omotičnega ptičjega leta. Zvočnim presenečenjem pa kar noče biti konec: Kaučič in Fernández brez premora nadaljujeta s pletenjem mreže asociacij, čvrsto določene v njunih idiosinkratičnih postopkih in hkrati osvobojene vseh vnaprejšnjih pomenov ali namenov.

Šele po zvočno in idejno bogati skladbi Free Nest prvič zares slišimo ploskanje, ki ima na nas učinek potujitve, a ta traja le za »drobec časa«, kolikor traja tudi na albumu. Sledita še dve skladbi, ki skladno – kolikor to lahko rečemo za tako nemirno in razburkano ter izvedbeno nič kaj konvencionalno ali standard(izira)no glasbo – nadaljujeta zastavljene postavke. Nato smo priče še več prosto letečim asociacijam, (pre)puščanju in odpiranju prostora za soigralca, raziskovanju skupnega vibriranja, ki dinamiko skladb mestoma upočasni, ponekod pa zelo pospeši, ter izjemno tenkočutnemu medsebojnemu usklajevanju melodijskega ogrodja, skozi katero odsevajo neštete ritmične zanke in uganke ..., navdihnjeni in osredotočeni improvizaciji, skozi katero tandem izrabi vse možnosti obeh glasbil oziroma iz njih iztisne povsem nove zvoke.

Višek tega vrhunskega albuma, ki ga krasi jasen in neposreden zvok (zanj je poskrbel Iztok Zupan), je gotovo najdaljša, dvanajstminutna »odzvenska simfonija« Lonci; v njej zvoki in odmevi brbotajo kot v kuhinjah (laboratorijih) največjih mojstrov okusa. Tale »zvočna zabava« je glasba za prefinjene, izdelane okuse, ki bi morala zanimati in zamikati tudi sledilce avantgardnih strujanj v klasični glasbi in novi muziki, tiste, ki se predvsem navdušujejo nad neobičajnimi zvoki, (od)zveni, prelivanjem struktur in tekstur ter neslutenimi možnostmi variacij v (poljubno, a smiselno) zastavljenih zvočnih zgodbah.

(Mario Batelić)

blogcritics.org, July 30, 2014; Music Review: Zlatko Kaučič and Agusti Fernández – ‘Sonic Party’

Drummer/percussionist Zlatko Kaučič and pianist Agusti Fernández are hardcore improvisers. Their phrasing is spontaneous and motivated by off-the-cuff impulses and spur-of-the-moment ideas. Their latest collaboration Sonic Party channels a stream of consciousness narration that is purely of their own making, fashioned from the duo’s creative urges to express itself, and limited by its inclination to explore uncharted terrain. It is uncharted stratospheres which is the key factor compelling Kaučič and Fernández to compose.

The stucco beats of the keys in “Sirob” are layered in vibrating percussions, creating passages of terrestrial-style chimes which transition into the brisk clopping of drum sticks and shimmering echoes. Resounding with the ping of taut strings and the syncopated clashing of mallets against tinpans, “Free Nest” amasses a playground of various percussive sounds moving freely and sowing liberally. The rapid jostling of the keys intercede the passages of percussive beating, culminating into a volcano-size fusion of arbitrary notes and improvisations emoting subliminal thoughts.

Kaučič’s imagination is infinite, and is depicted by the diverse percussive sounds and shifting rhythmic patterns of “Monde.” Fernández displays an equally uninhibited flow of ideas in “The Hug” as he moves the keys erratically driven by a formidable passion. Notes are jagged and crisp, slicing and slashing randomly.

“Us and Other’s” progresses slowly and steadily, opening with tapping clicks and soft-sounding keys which merge into the title track that is draped in the dissonant tones of the keys and jutting percussion instruments. The duo roams with a whimsical stride, making the arrangements seem chaotic but always within their control while propelling one another to think in unconventional terms. Unconventional is the dominant force driving the duo as their collaboration surges with creative juices.

Sonic Party embraces experimental phrasing and terrestrial-style chimes and vibrations. The compositions are expressions of the duo’s own creation, motivated by a desire to explore uncharted sounds and irregular rhythmic patterns. It is a recording that expands the borders of improvisational music and freestyle jazz.

(Susan Frances)

www.manafonistas.de/, 24. Jul 2014; Percussionists

Percussionists do not have just one clearly recognizable instrument but, instead, a lot of devices and materials with which to make sound. Every percussionist therefore has his/her very own collection and set up which makes them all look differently. Zlatko Kaučič is the percussive gardener or, put differently, a percussionist who is “gardening” his sounds. This is a specification due to his posture when playing percussion: he is knelt like a gardener in a plant bed. That offers him a special range to use devices in a specific way. One of the specialties in that performance was a table zither on the left side behind him, which he would strum with his left hand while banging different devices in front of himself with his right.

Kaučič has been working in Spain, Switzerland and The Netherlands for longer periods and has collaborated with musicians and groups of a greater variety of styles and genres. More recently he has worked with the likes of Stefano Battaglia, Javier Girotto, Evan Parker, Saadet Türkoz and Paul McCandless of the group Oregon. He has an impressive discography which means he is highly respected among fellow musicians, but is a bit underrated and not so well known yet in the media and by audiences.

(Henning Bolte)

www.ljubljanajazz.si, 2.-5.7., 2014; 55 Ljubljana Jazz Festival 2014

Med vrhunce pianističnega žarišča sodi tudi koncert avstralskega kultnega tria The Necks. Bend, znan po tem, da nikoli ne vadi in se na nastopih prepusti spontanemu ustvarjanju daljše, praviloma enourne skladbe, je še enkrat dokazal, da je posebnost v glasbenem (ne le jazzovskem) svetu. Pri The Necks se vse dogaja počasi, pravzaprav zelo počasi, ko kontrabasist Lloyd Swanton na strunah najprej zastavi preprosto melodično linijo, ki ji po nekaj taktih začne dodajati ton ali dva. Mantri podobna melodija kar visi v od pričakovanja težkem zraku, nakar se – še počasneje – igri pridružita še pianist Chris Abrahams in bobnar Tony Buck. Ko iz začetne počasnosti trio začne glasbi dodajati vse več okraskov, se težišče skladbe obenem začne nenehno in neopazno premikati od člana do člana, dokler ne dosežejo prevzemajočega vibriranja, malone vidnega gibanja zvoka, ki je tako zgoščen, da ga čutiš na fizični ravni. Tudi nastop našega tolkalca Zlatka Kaučiča in španskega pianista Agustíja Fernándeza sodi med presežke letošnjega festivala. Po dolgem nizu pianistov smo tokrat slišali (in občudujoče gledali) enega, ki se je izkazal z radikalno spremembo samega načina igranja in posledično zvoka, kakršnega lahko oddaja klavir. Fernández je namreč silovito posegal v notranjost, drobovje inštrumenta, kjer je »trgal« in udarjal strune. Njegova igra je bila popolnoma usklajena s Kaučičevo, ki je na svojem kompletu talnih bobnov uprizoril pravcato simfonijo pisanih zvenov in odzvenov.

Tudi sicer so bili letošnji prispevki slovenskih glasbenikov na visoki ravni. Poleg Kaučiča smo slišali še kitarista Janija Modra z njegovo novo slovensko-avstrijsko zasedbo Jani Moder's Brain Blender, ki je predstavila svež album Abacus. Moder je s svojimi strunami spretno uravnaval potek igre ter usmerjal intenzivnost skupinske zvočne podaje. Kvintet je navdušil s spremenljivo igro in razponom občutenj, od intimističnih valovanj prek navezav na fusion do zelo nabritega vročega funka ali rocka. Tudi Marko Črnčec je nastopil z mednarodnim kvartetom Marko Črnčec 4 in prav tako predstavil nov album, Devotion. Poleg klavirja je igral še na fender rhodes in tako, skupaj s saksofonistom Markom Shimom, ki je igral tudi na elektronski midi kontroler, pripomogel k barvitosti kvarteta. Črnčec in Shim sta se spretno dopolnjevala v solističnih delih, Shim med drugim z gibkim saksofonskim zvenom, Črnčec pa s široko paleto pristopov od bolj intimnih in umirjenih linij do gromkega ritmiziranja. Dva domača glasbenika smo slišali tudi v Tarek Yamani Triu, katerega vodja je libanonski pianist, ki je razvil samosvoj slog prežemanja jazza in (večinoma stare) arabske glasbe. V tem sta mu zvesto pomagala slovenska glasbenika, Goran Krmac na tubi in Kristijan Krajnčan za bobni. Še zlasti je navdušil Krajnčan, saj je postregel s pravcato paleto ritmičnih vzorcev in domislic, ki so imenitno dopolnjevali pianistovo iskrivo igranje.

(Mario Batelić)

www.allaboutjazz.com, July 24, 2014; Ljubljana Jazz Festival 2014

The concerts of the festival were running in four venues: at three in Cankarjev House (Štih Hall, Linhart Hall and the Klub), along with the big semi-open air venue, Križanke. The jazz festival is part of the city's bigger and longer-running summer music festival. As with the last two years, the festival was again co-curated by Cankarjev's Bogdan Benigar and Pedro Costa, from Lisbon, associated with the well-known Clean Feed record label. That brings a special quality to the festival, its programming and its productions which can only be found in a few other festivals in Europe, like 12 Points and Jazzdor Berlin (some reflections on this can be found on the festival website).

Fifteen groups were performing at the four-day festival: three from Norway, including Jaga Jazzist, In The Country and Cortex; and four from Slovenia, Jani Moder's Brainblender, Tarek Yamani Trio (with a leader from Lebanon), Marko Črnček 4, and Zlatko Kaučič/Agusti Fernández. It also means there were only sequential concerts, with no parallel streams, so it was possible to attend every show. This year's festival had two main coordinates: Norway as regional focus; and an instrumental focus on the piano. Twelve pianists were performing at the festival, from solo to groups with more than five musicians. This year's edition had only one piano-less group in Cortex- -a great exception. The pianists present at the festival, both well known and less known, were veteran Joachim Kuhn, along with Agusti Fernandez, Morten Qvenild, Giovanni Guidi, Chris Abrahams, Marko Crncek, Oystein Moen, Fulco Ottervanger, Gabriel Pinto, Chip Crawford, Tarek Yamani and Pierre Chretien.

Day 4: Saturday, July 5

The evening presented two special configurations at the bigger Linhart Hall: the Slovenian- Spanish duo of percussionist Zlatko Kaucic and pianist Agusti Fernandez; and, second, the legendary Australian trio The Necks.

Percussionists do not have just one clearly recognizable instrument but, instead, a lot of devices and materials with which to make sound. Every percussionist therefore has his/her very own collection and set up which makes them all look differently. Zlatko Kaučič is the percussive gardener or, put differently, a percussionist who is "gardening" his sounds. This is a specification due to his posture when playing percussion: he is knelt like a gardener in a plant bed. That offered him a special range to use devices in a specific way. One of the specialties in that performance was a table zither on the left side behind him, which he would strum with his left hand while banging different devices in front of himself with his right.

Kaučič has been working in Spain, Switzerland and The Netherlands for longer periods and has collaborated with musicians and groups of a greater variety of styles and genres. More recently he has worked with the likes of Stefano Battaglia, Javier Girotto, Evan Parker, Saadet Türkoz and Paul McCandless, of the group Oregon. He has an impressive discography which means he is highly respected among fellow musicians, but is a bit underrated and not so well known yet in the media and by audiences.

Fernández, on the other hand, is a well-known and accomplished pianist of free improvisation who has worked with many of the leading figures in that field. A match between these two musicians made a lot of sense and was something to look forward to. Kaučič and Fernández engaged in quick, playful and intriguing interactions from which beautiful fine nerve pieces of musical sound emerged that connected to a richly textured whole. Kaučič played the more impulsive visceral role, whereas Fernández—assisted by his physiognomy, his way of moving around the grand piano and his snake-like diving to the inside of it—played the more elusive, drawn-into-subtleties part. These contrasts worked well but also meant that no major elevating effect took place. It came about more in a calm calculated way which was fine, too, and supplied lots of enjoyment.


www.sigic.si, 12. julij 2014; Osvajanje in prisvajanje – 55. Jazz festival Ljubljana

Potem ko smo lahko Zlatka Kaučiča pred nedavnim slišali v zanj že skoraj neznačilno lirično zvenečem klavirskem triu in po dolgem času spet za bobnarsko baterijo (album December Soul in nastop v Kinu Šiška), je Kaučič, ki projekte po lastnih besedah zelo nerad ponavlja, nastopil še v duetu s pianistom Agustíjem Fernándezom. Dvojec je na odru v slabše obiskani Linhartovi dvorani razvijal svojo napeto improvizacijo, razdeljeno na posamezne ločene izvedbe, od katerih je vsaka bolj ali manj raziskovala svojo zvočno in izrazno paleto. Njun nastop je vseboval tako oglate, kotrlikajoče se ekspresionistične pasaže kot tudi izrazito svobodne, celo aleatorične in avantgardne izlete v neidiomatično zvočnost, ki je pravzaprav čedalje bolj prevladovala. Kaučič tudi tokrat v duetu s Fernándezom ni razočaral. Dialog med obema glasbenikoma je bil celo tako tekoč, da večkrat ni bilo jasno, kdo ga vodi in kdo sledi; ta kreativna dvoumnost je šla tako daleč, da sta se oba tudi zvočno precej približala: denimo Fernándezovo drgnjenje in krtačenje klavirjevega drobovja pa Kaučičevo žaganje po čineli. K temu je bistveno pripomogla Kaučičeva znamenita talna postavitev zvočil, ki mu omogoča izredno natančno sprehajanje po registrih in zvočno barvanje v vedno znova presenetljivih odtenkih. Skupni izraz obeh glasbenikov je vseboval izrazita dinamična nihanja, na katera sta si Kaučič in Fernández vzajemno odgovarjala z natančnostjo, kot jo v takšnih improvizacijah slišimo le redko, pri Kaučiču pa jo že kar nekako pričakujemo. Čeprav je dvojec ustvaril nekaj nadvse liričnih vzdušij, so bile zlasti učinkovite tiste pasaže, v katerih sta Kaučič in Fernández dosegla že skoraj monokromatske zvočne zgostitve, minimalistične zvočne gmote, ki so tako rekoč pripravile teren za naslednji nastop.

(Andrej Hočevar)

MLADINA, 11. 7. 2014; Jazzovska poslastica

Za še en vrhunec festivala je poskrbel špansko-slovenski duet Agustija Fernandeza in Zlatka Kaučiča, ki seje izkazal usklajeno improvizacijo klavirja in različnih tolkal.

(Veljko Njegovan)

www.dnevnik.si, 7. 7. 2014; Predvidljivo, vendar presneto dobro

Na letošnjem festivalu je bilo predvidljivo tudi to – navsezadnje je to del posla obeh selektorjev programa – da je bil najintrigantnejši glasbeni del prihranjen za improvizacijski duo španskega pianista Agustíja Fernándeza in domačega tolkalca Zlatka Kaučiča ter za The Necks. Ker je bil v tokratno žarišče postavljen klavir, je ravno nastop prvih dveh opozoril, da je bil navsezadnje skrajni čas, da vsaj en pianist med vsemi prebiralci tipk zares poseže v klavirjevo notranjost in v duhu tradicije domišljenega glasbenega eksperimentalizma pokaže, da so zvočne/glasbene zmožnosti tega »evropskega glasbila glasbil« mnogo širše od vnaprej danih in utrjenih v zgodovinskem pohodu klavirja. Fernández in Kaučič sta v improvizirani dvoigri »velikega brata«, ki v pianistovih rokah postane zvočilo in brenkalo, in domišljeno ubrisane palete tolkal in drobnih zvočil, s katerimi se obdaja naš tolkalec, tako nenarejeno in suvereno menjala vlogi »vodilnega«, da je nastala prava »gajstna« odprta improveselica, ob kateri zaigra srce. Kaučič je kot glasbenik-tolkalec našel svoj tolkalski »komplet«, ki je hkrati variabilen nabor raznih tolkal in zvočil, obenem pa tudi izpričuje, da je prilagodljiv in izjemno občutljiv za soigralca in nastalo situacijo, ki jo gradi. To je bil nedvomno daleč najboljši in zrel glasbeni nastop slovenskega glasbenika na letošnjem festivalu.

(Ičo Vidmar)

www.mladina.si, 4. 7. 2014; Agustí Fernández, Zlatko Kaučič: Sonic Party

Še ena izdaja cenjene poljske založbe Not Two Records, ki je bila posneta na naših tleh, natančneje na lanskem JazzLentu, nas opozarja, da v domačih logih ne premoremo le zavidanja vrednega števila odličnih jazzovskih koncertov, ampak tudi jazzovskih glasbenikov. Zlatka Kaučiča ni treba posebej predstavljati domačim navdušencem nad jazzom in sodobno improvizirano godbo, saj se je v dolgoletni karieri dokazal s sodelovanjem z različnimi vrhunskimi glasbeniki. Tokrat je združil moči z izvrstnim španskim pianistom Agustíjem Fernándezom, ki združuje klasični klavir s svobodno jazzovsko improvizacijo, v duetu s Kaučičevimi tolkalskimi čarovnijami pa nastajajo rahločutne in odprte skladbe, ki jih bosta predstavila na zaključnem večeru ljubljanskega Jazz festivala.

Ocena: +++++

(Veljko Njegovan)

VEČER, 8. julij 2014; Tradicija spremljanja novosti

Zvečer sta v Linhartovi dvorani nastopila španski pianist Agusti Fernandez in slovenski tolkalec Zlatko Kaučič (prvič sta zaigrala skupaj na lanskem Festivalu Lent v Mariboru). Prvi je enako doma v klasiki in sodobni resni glasbi kot v jazzovski improvizaciji; drugi je samosvoj, a izredno prilagodljiv mojster igrivega zvočenja in ustvarjanja pronicljivo inovativne glasbe iz praktično česar koli. Njuna sprotna medsebojna komunikacija pa zveni kot vizionarski eksperiment, ki od poslušalca zahteva obilo poglobljene pozornosti in kombinatornega razmišljanja, a se bogato oddolži z neverjetno poetičnostjo.