(Split / Half/Theory)
“Gleanings” consists of nine improvisations – or “exhibits”, as their originators call them – where Jim Denley (sax, voice) and Scott Sinclair (guitar, objects) try to find a meeting point between a sedated version of Borbetomagus and Keith Rowe’s orbital presence while remaining faithful to their aesthetic sense, apparently based on a genuinely visceral approach to the borderline techniques of blowing air into conduits and various methods of eliciting sparkle, hum and click from the stringed object that once used to be played standing and, in this and other instances, is now exploited through an horizontal procedure. Hell-bent on their use of influences that other people would discard as if hand-burning, the companions alternate situations that call for different levels of tranquillity: one moment suffocated blobs and plangent jangle leave the environment moderately peaceful with just a modicum of lurking violence, one track later we’re welcomed by sinister emissions and guttural nastiness forcing a careful dosage of the volume while listening through headphones. It should be noted that Denley and Sinclair have a unique way of curbing the destructive potential of their instruments, managing a talkative combustion while remaining chained to the most implosive aspects of improvisation. Even what sounds more vivacious leaves many clear details to appreciate, preparing us better for the menacing segments that constitute the cream of the album. The exquisite cover art is just the icing on the cake. Good stuff.