Meyer - Baumgärtner - Meyer | MELT Trio: Hymnolia: Release Information
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Release Date: 08.11.2013
TT Catalogue No: 4591
Melt Trio - Hymnolia
A guitar sound that dives into the terrestrial hemisphere, like from a distant orbit, drums that carefully scan and sense the unfamiliar sound, and finally, a bass groove whose gravitation pulls them both down to the ground. Welcome to “Hymnolia”, the Melt Trio’s second album.
Just a moment! A second album of the Melt Trio? Was there a first? Who is the Melt Trio? Let us take a short tour through the time tunnel. Two years ago the Trio Meyer-Baumgärtner-Meyer from Berlin astounded laymen and experts equally. The brothers Peter and Bernhard Meyer on guitars and bass, and drummer Moritz Baumgärtner invented a sound that boldly yet humbly overrode all established concepts of jazz improvisation, alternative rock, ambient and experience of nature translated to sound, but even surpassed all known syntheses, avantgardisms and overlappings. A sound that unfolded its bouquet light-years away from any crossover. In free flight the three Berliners betook themselves from the known galaxies to a new sound-quadrant, that gets by without any exhibitionism. The abysmally overrated solo in jazz cannot be found here. To Meyer-Baumgärtner-Meyer it was all about degrees of density, states of matter and atmospheres. The group-conducive restraint of the three individual masters is exactly what accounts for the trio’s unique charm. And what was the name of their first album? “Melt”
Compared to the trio’s music, which is elegant and dynamic in every regard, its logo, Meyer-Baumgärtner-Meyer, admittedly sounds a little bulky. But one who provokes motion in music, is capable of the same in his head. And since the album title “Melt” so congenially describes the agenda of this trio, Meyer-Baumgärtner-Meyer, without further ado, turned into the Melt Trio.
“Hymnolia” continues exactly where “Melt” left off and yet at the same time expands the scope widely. Much that applied to “Melt” can be said with good conscience about “Hymnolia” as well. There is still this symbiotic expressiveness, in which composed, improvised and parts freely associated from pure sound organically flow into each other. The three musicians newly negotiate their shares and positions in every piece, consistently find surprising approaches to one another, collectively generate soundscapes, but are also absorbed in overlappings and interferences. Togetherness can lie in the absolute mergence, but also in the sum of the threefold individual.
The new band name makes even more sense in regard of these extremely flexible group dynamics. Due to their manifold shared experiences, the initial polarity between the Meyer brothers and Baumgärtner, which was still noticeable on “Melt”, has since dissolved. The three protagonists have audibly strengthened their mutual starting basis. Mood and atmosphere are still in the foreground of their collective playing, from which song-like motifs or free improvisations sprout. The sources of the separate sounds are not always clearly distinguishable. What may sound like a synthesizer or a shrill modified guitar sound, could also come from a cymbal. The pool of ideas of the three musicians permeates itself in an impressive manner. But the postulate of the band isn’t called “Melt” for nothing.
However, the band also shows clearly more courage to contour on “Hymnolia”. Without any individual solos happening, in some parts one of the voices is carved out over the band context. Concrete melodies that seemingly coincidentally crystalize out of the collective floating manifest themselves and stick in your ear. These melodies are of such compelling beauty, that they want to be heard again and again. And they are so catchy, that one believes to have known them for many years, exactly as if every sunrise emerged around these melodies. From this delight of melody and therefrom derived phrasing and modification automatically leads to a greater nearness to jazz, that identifies itself as a commentary totally free of convention to the possibilities of jazz improvisation.
These sound-poetic correlations alone would be enough to explain the album title. Hymnolia: a gloriole of hymn-like twinkling, a diaphanous cloud of sound-light. Yes, it may sound a little kitschy, but the music of the Melt Trio really does catch the human primeval desire for harmony and perfection. These pieces uncoil unique psycho-acoustic landscapes like surrealistic labyrinths, in which one longs to get lost in, out of which one wishes to never find the way out again. Once more the listener can easily put himself into the almost hypnotic amazement that may have overcome the three musicians during the creation of this music.
In spite of all that, there is an entirely different reason for the title. Originally the band made a point of finding a jazz-untypical title that sounds like a mix of hymn, magnolia and distant planets. But as if the impartial element of surprise was the main theme of the Melt Trio per se, the three musicians were quite astonished when they found evidence in a document from 1899, that there is actually an instrument of that name. The hymnolia is a portable pipe organ that apparently wasn’t all that rare around 1900. “This instrument would definitely have its place in one or another music piece of our band,” Bernhard Meyer exults. And without wanting to become too esoteric, maybe a couple of spiritual vibrations of the hymnolia have crawled from the universe back into this music.Either way, the Melt Trio is and will be a guitar trio that does without any comparison. Melt is neither Nirvana on jazz nor Bill Frisell Trio in rock and also not Massacre in ambient. Melt is Melt; unique, individual, absorbing and touching, spreading its wings like an albatross, so closely calling from a far distance