Riccardo Villalobos & Max Loderbauer

More and more these days we are seeing instances of electronic music artists stretching their boundaries and applying their own musical thoughts to other genres and even cultures. The obvious recent examples include Carl Craig & Moritz Von Oswald, rethinking several classical recordings, and Matthew Herbert – while the more mainstream efforts have included remixes of choice items from the Verve back catalogue. None of this really prepares you for the invention of Riccardo Villalobos and Max Loderbauer, who have taken on some of the ECM back catalogue, blending modern jazz and occasionally classical through their own viewpoints. The results are, in some cases, mind bending, the original material chopped up, fragmented, pushed through weird sonic diffusers and melded into something completely new. There are few beats, but the tracks vary from slow and smoky to quick and energetic. Over two CDs this becomes something of a sonic adventure, with atmospherics and smoky, brushed drums taking over the music of Alexander Knaifel, Arvo Pärt, Christian Wallumrød and others. Hot, smouldering late nights are the best conditions for this music – reflecting the original compositions of Villalobos and Loderbauer, himself a member of the Von Oswald trio – but bringing something genuinely new to the table. Fascinating.

5 Out Of 5

Reviewed By: Ben Hogwood