CD Llyra (CD 6979528),
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  • 1. Modul 48
    2. Modul 52
    3. Modul 55
    4. Modul 47
    5. Modul 53
    6. Modul 51
    7. Modul 49_44
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): ECM2178/BOO1

  • Credits
    ProducerManfred Eicher
    EngineerNicolas Baillard; Gerard De Haro

    Personnel: Nik Brtsch (piano); Kaspar Rast (drums); Andi Pupato (percussion).
    Liner Note Author: Nik Brtsch.
    Recording information: Studios La Buissonne, Pernes-Les-Fontaines (03/2010).
    Photographer: Martin Mll.
    Translator: J. Bradford Robinson.
    Those who loved the spidery funk of Ronin's earliest releases Randori, Live, and Rea may initially be put off by the band's latest effort. Easily the "jazziest" Ronin disc to date, Llyria retains much of the precision of the band's previous output, and yet sounds ever so slightly more human than anything they've done before. As always in the past, the compositions (known as "Moduls") are made up of small melodic cells which are repeated and alternated in various patterns. This time out, though, it feels like there's more improvisation (carefully structured, methodical improvisation, of course) going on. The pieces feel less like beat loops and more like the music of a band. "Modul 55" is practically a typical ECM piano ballad, with occasional humming bass clarinet phrases. The album's opening track, "Modul 48," is nearly ambient, with almost no rhythmic forward motion at all. "Modul 47" actually builds to repeated crescendi, the rhythm section constructing one suspenseful arc after another as Brtsch's keyboard figures recall soundtracks to '70s urban thrillers. In the track's final minutes, it slows down to a half-speed rumble and erupts in almost hip-hop like bass throbs. Ultimately, Llyria may be slightly more organic and emotional than previous Ronin discs, but it's very much of a piece with Brtsch's overall musical vision, and longtime listeners will enjoy it as much as new ones. ~ Phil Freeman

  • Critic Reviews
    Down Beat (p.60) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he material is structured around motifs, patterns and waves of instrumental expressions. The music swings..."
    JazzTimes (p.50) - "This is music of community, not show. It's also highly intellectual and abstract."
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