Object 1

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“Recorded at Chicago’s Truckstop and partnered by local cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, German trumpeter Axel Dörner once more reveals his prodigious extended technique on his Holton slide instrument. Both the music and the predominantly white booklet and tray here recall the austere productions of the Japanese Meme and the French A Bruit Secret labels (Dörner’s solo album Trumpet appeared on the latter in 2001), with the crucial addition of five small black-and-white photos: one each of the artists, one chest X-ray, one Brillo pad, and one bowling ball. Though the press release describes the album as “soundtracking” the objects, exactly how this is done seems to be left up to the listener to figure out. In keeping with the rather clinical imagery, the five pieces take their time to explore texture and sonority, Dörner and Lonberg-Holm going about their work with quiet determination like laboratory assistants patiently conducting experiments. The busier moments recall their earlier outing on the Meniscus label, Claque, but without Michael Zerang’s nervous twitching percussion behind them, Lonberg-Holm has more space to explore the outer limits of his cello and Dörner seems quite content to lay down his characteristically static breathy metallic tones. Neither player pushes the other about — the music is neither conflictual nor consensual, but rather intensely focused on the moment. A challenging but rewarding listen.”