by Ian Mann
April 12, 2012
Simultaneously exhausting and exhilarating.
WorldService Project and Tribraco
“Match & Fuse EP No.4”
The fourth “match” of the “Match & Fuse” series sees British band WorldService Project linking up with the Italian quartet Tribraco for a short series of British dates in April 2012 plus a reciprocal visit to Italy at the end of May. WSP’s previous “matches” with young, similarly minded European groups have been very successful and a “Match & Fuse” festival featuring thirteen bands from eight European countries is to be held at London’s Vortex Jazz Club on June 15th and 16th 2012.
WSP’s previous “matches” have featured the groups Synkoke (Norway), Schulbus (Germany) and ReDiViDeR (Ireland) with each collaboration marked by the issue of a limited edition CD. Live shows feature a set from each band and a final “mash up” featuring the members of both groups.
This fourth release in the series features two tracks each from WSP and Tribraco plus a live collaboration between WSP and Schulbus recorded at The Vortex in November 2011.
Tribraco were formed in Rome in 2004 by guitarist Lorenzo Tarducci and the group also features second guitarist Dario Cesarini, bassist Valerio Lucenti and drummer Tommaso Moretti. Both guitarists feature loop machines as an integral part of their set ups and the resultant music mixes jazz improvisation, ambient layering and rock energy and dynamics to create a distinctive sound that should sit well alongside WSP’s now well documented blend of funk and Django Bates inspired stop/start surrealism. Tribraco describe their music as “psycho jazz rock” and they have frequently worked with actors, dancers and film makers in a variety of cross genre collaborations.
It is the Italian group that kick off this EP with Tarducci’s “The Human Cannonball”, the jagged fusion riffs of the guitarists are punctuated by drum barrages from Moretti. There also appears to be an uncredited guest soprano saxophonist on this track with the result that the music often sounds a little like Brit group Partisans albeit with additional electronic elements courtesy of the guitarists’ range of effects. It’s a high energy start that mixes written and improvised passages and which should prove to be a highly effective live item.
Tribraco’s second contribution is Cesarini’s “Sergente Di Ferro” which, like “Cannonball” incorporates wordless vocals into the mix. In this instance they are more in the “cut and paste” style of the UK’s trioVD and also include examples of sampled speech. Once again battering riffs are interspersed by brief passages of effects laden improvisation. Like it’s predecessors this is a tightly focussed slab of energy that suggests that Tribraco’s live performances will be visceral and exciting.
The two WSP pieces are live recordings sourced from their double bill with Schulbus at The Vortex in November 2011. “The Screamer” originally appeared on their début studio album “Relentless” and was written by keyboard player and group leader Dave Morecroft. This is archetypal WSP, leading off with Neil Blandford’s powerful funk and rock infused drumming and featuring Morecroft’s synth rumbles alongside the stabbing horns of saxophonist Tim Ower and trombonist Raph Clarkson. The group take the punk energy of Acoustic Ladyland and fuse it with the stop/start eclecticism of Django Bates. WSP compositions are constantly shifting in terms of pace and dynamics, cheesy lounge like passages are juxtaposed with outbursts of steaming funk and eccentric Bates inspired synth. Listening to WSP is simultaneously exhausting and exhilarating. This version of “The Screamer” boasts an astonishingly agile electric bass solo from Conor Chaplin alongside the other elements of the band’s signature sound.
The charmingly titled “Change The Fucking Record” offers more of the same funkiness and eclecticism allied to extreme dynamics. Morecroft is a relentlessly inventive writer and an inspired soloist who is surely destined to be a major figure on the UK jazz scene. His band mates buy into his idea with conviction and play his complicated but eminently accessible pieces with skill and verve, negotiating the many tricky twists and turns with apparent ease, their youthful brio matched by an admirable precision.
The closing “Kuhl Und Distanziert” features the members of WSP alongside the German band Schulbus (guitarist Hannes Buder, saxophonist Robert Menzel and drummer Hannes Lingens). Penned by the Schulbus trio the piece begins with a chorus of carousing horns before opening out into a freely structured passage featuring Buder’s needling guitar. Eventually a sax led theme emerges that provides the impetus for further improvisation with the interplay between Morecroft and Buder particularly impressive. In the spirit of the “mash up” the intensity gradually increases then ebbs away with Clarkson’s softly expressive trombone ushering things home.
WSP and their European counterparts continue to impress and this Anglo Italian double bill should be well worth seeing, as should the Match & Fuse festival at The Vortex in June. The Match & Fuse project has been a considerable success and more “matches” are planned, extending into 2013.
WorldService Project & Tribraco (Match & Fuse no. 4)
April in UK
Basingstoke: The Haymarket@Anvil Arts, Churchill Way, RG21 7QR
London: Vortex 11 Gillett Square, N16 8AZ
Birmingham: The Drum, 144 Potters Lane, Aston B6 4UU