Fire! - Testament [vinyl]

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  • Manufacturer: Rune Grammofon
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  • Net Price: €28.85 €35.48

Premiera: 01.03.2024

Fire! have always been about finding the essence by getting to the core of the music. Their 8th album sees the trio - for the first time on record - stripped down to the bare-bones essentials; with no flutes, no electronics, no guests and no extras, recorded live in the studio to analogue tape - the Steve Albini way - with the master himself at the controls in Electrical Audio in Chicago. Thus, this album stands as a true testament to the group's expressive power and glowing intimacy. Musically, Testament can be seen as an extension of their previous full length album Defeat, released two years ago, to the month.
A solitary bass figure from Johan Berthling, quickly joined by a stout drum groove, gets it all going in a familiar fashion before Gustafsson adds desolate cries and whispers from his baritone sax. This approach is even more honed on the second track, with the most simplistic groove you're likely to hear in jazz and Gustafsson shifting between extended, lonely, tortured lines, only once abrupted by a series of short bursts. The third track starts with loose and relatively lively drums that continue throughout, but the mournful saxophone maintains a subdued atmosphere. Track four is a real beauty with the trio slipping into a trance-like dream state before shifting gear halfway into its nine minutes. The final track is the most dynamic of the lot, shifting between bursts of energy and lyrical beauty. Fire's debut album, You Liked Me Five Minutes Ago, was released in 2009 to wide international acclaim. "The basic strategy of pairing the expressive energy of free jazz with a sturdy sense of groove has yielded something potent and self-contained" (New York Times). Between this and Testament there's been six albums, including collaborations with Jim O'Rourke (Unreleased?) and Oren Ambarchi (In The Mouth A Hand), as well as the Requies EP with Stephen O'Malley and David Sandström in 2022.
Testament was recorded and mixed during a three-day stint at Steve Albini's Electrical Audio studio in Chicago in December 2022.
Mats Gustafsson - baritone sax Johan Berthling - bass Andreas Werliin - drums.


1 WORK SONG FOR A SCATTERED PAST
2 THE DARK INSIDE OF CABBAGE
3 FOUR WAYS OF DEALING WITH ONE WAY
4 RUNNING BISON. BREATHING ENTITY. SLEEPING REALITY.
5 ONE TESTAMENT. ONE AIM. ONE MORE TO GO. AGAIN.