Manuel Troller

Halcyon Future

Meakusma
24.95 €
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A bit more than half a decade on from his widely acclaimed debut Vanishing Points from 2018, Swiss guitarist, composer, and improv musician Manuel Troller releases his new record Halcyon Future. A rhythmically dense and ambiguous, yet joyful ride for unstable times, a plea for warmth and hopeful resistance. Troller’s mode of incorporating, zooming in, and expanding on small elements from improvised sessions creates a multilayered work of driving rhythms and abstract, vibrating textures. Opening with Halcyon Future I’s distinctive open pulse, this first piece guides us through subtle harmonic shifts that are almost unrecognizable as they take place over extended time, overlapping and creating a sense of ambiguity until the piece reaches an almost optimistic level with Mario Hänni’s unexpected introduction of driving acoustic drums. Relentlessly and with increasing excitement, heavy electronic 80s bass drums and an armada of layered hi-hats push them on, leading to the all-incorporating melodic finale. The two long pieces Halcyon Future I and Halcyon Future II focus on forward momentum. In between them stands DNA, a purposely directionless contemplation on emotion as such. It is raw, naked, and confrontational, with a tender and subtly changing chord progression creating intimacy and proximity, abstraction and warmth, like a beautifully vibrant hologram for the listener to walk around in. The B-side with its 20-minute Halcyon Future II features playful futuristic guitars, enhancing and challenging the stereo image that Troller is already well-known for. As it’s given time to develop and take root, the ever-varying guitar interactions densify and the staccato patterns jump out of the speakers with joy, creating excitement and building momentum. Compared to Side A, things turn to a slightly more complex rhythmical, melodic, and harmonic feel here. There are easy references, such as Manuel Göttsching’s E2-E4 or Pat Metheny performing Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint, but Troller goes a different and very much more concrete way. Although the piece has been recorded in various places and through a long process of overdubbing, there is an astonishingly strong live feel to it, from beginning to the end, from the slow rise to the full spectrum and the almost krautrock-like finale. Improvisers Hans Koch on soprano saxophone and Michael Flury on heavily fuzzed trombone join in, while Troller and Mario Hänni on many guitars, bass, drum machines, and acoustic drums provide a joyous driving entity, not giving up until it all breaks down again. There is overkill and brute force, though never without depth and a vision of future. In the musical scope of Halcyon Future, there is no need for an absolute definition of things. A continuously changing interpretation of repetitive and variable elements fading in and out of focus tells a story of an excited sense of acceptance. Feelings of transcendence stem from Troller’s layering of constantly shifting rhythmic structures with unforeseen improvised harmonic changes. Drum machine parts overlayed with acoustic drums shift between musical modes, anchoring the album on the verge of a jazz-influenced, motorik, post-ECM balearic plateau. Abstract textural elements gently swirl around and behind all that is rhythm, providing a submissive counterpoint. As with much of Troller’s work, Halcyon Future is an album that unfolds slowly, revealing more of its richness, detail, and subtle beauty at each listen. Halcyon Future is a joint release by three:four records and meakusma. credits produced by Manuel Troller published by three:four records and meakusma Manuel Troller: guitars, bass, percussion & drum programming with: Mario Hänni: acoustic drums and percussion on Halcyon Future I & II Hans Koch: soprano saxophone on Halcyon Future II Michael Flury: fuzzed trombone on Halcyon Future II Recorded during 2021 & 2022 at Suburban Sound, Winterthur by Manuel Egger, additional recordings at Feldbergstrasse in Basel & various places by Manuel Troller. Mixed December 2022 and January 2023 at Suburban Sound, Winterthur by Manuel Egger and Manuel Troller. DNA's additional mixing by Leo Abrahams Mastered by Rashad Becker Vinyl cut by Rashad Becker Desing by Mathis Pfäffli, font: Dinamo Typefaces. Realized with the kind support of Fuka Fonds Stadt Luzern, Fachausschuss Musik Kanton Basel-Stadt und Basel Landschaft

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Details

Release Date

05.05.2024

Cat No

MEA051/TFR072

Tracklist

Track 1
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Track 2
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Track 3
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Track 4
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