Rich soundscape

Evan Parker with Ghost-in-the-Machine - Leo Lab CD 018/Leo Records, The Cottage, 6 Anerley Hill, London SE 19 2AA, England.
Evan Parker, saxophones, Christer Irgens-Møller, piano, synths, Peter Friis Nielsen, el-bass, Pere Oliver Jørgens, drums, Martin Klapper, amplified objects-diktaphone-tape-toys.
Recorded: sept 1993. Duration: 68.40.

It is an old tradition in musical connexions that known musicians travels around and plays with local groups and bands. So it is with classical music, and so it is with jazz and improvised music. In this case it was the English Evan Parker who in 1993 was invited to play a series of concerts with the Danish group Ghost-in-the-Machine, and at the same time there was taken care of a recording, which resulted in this CD.
The Danish group, which is a trio and consists of Christer Irgens-Møller, piano, Peter Friis Nielsen, electric bass and Pere Oliver Jörgens, percussion , has played in Denmark and abroad with other well-known improvisation-musicians like John Tchicai and Peter Brötzmann. On this CD Martin Klapper is also added and plays different amplified objects.
The result of this musical meeting has partly become a sort of a filigree-music, that in the first place is a about many and small sounds, which for a time makes a twittering soundfabric, where Peter Friis Nielsens rumbling electric bass makes out the base. When the listener has lost himself in the tiny little details, the powers disengages and more muscles come into the music.
According to the involved musicians, it is first of all remarkable how little Evan Parker dominates. There is no hints whatsoever of "here-I-come" music, which is more than usual in this type of music. I am astonished how sensitive Parker seems to be, - he is actually an outsider. With that I have also said that this music virtually is more together than one could expect from a musical meeting by chance.
I have never heard Ghost-in-the-Machine as a trio, but I have nevertheless a feeling , that the music on this record has become richer by adding the object-musician Martin Klapper. His various instruments widens the soundtexture and adds both interesting and amusing details.

Thore Rösnes NO. 3. SEPT. 1996.
Editor and responsible publisher


Ghost-in-the-Machine with Evan Parker LEO LAB 018 CD

...The Leo album is different again, and I reckon the most remarkable. (.. out of three in all) Parker is integrated into the Danish free improvising group Ghost-In-The-Machine - keyboards Christer Irgens-Møller, Peter Nielsen on bass, Pere Jørgens on percussion, with Martin Klapper added on dictaphone, tapes, toys and "amplified objects" (I love that). The group formed in 1987 has played with John Tchicai, Peter Brötzmann and Paul Rutherford. Their appoach is more structured, the sounds varied and the music packed with incident. With excellent recordings, mostly studio-based, the approach is thoughtful but not at all po-faced. Percussion in particular is subtle and often gorgeous in its effects. The tracks are mainly short (around five minutes) with a more unified mood. "Throy" explores staccato and feedback sounds; "Highup" begins, as its title suggests, at almost dog-whistle frequencies; and "Radio Djibouti" focuses on Irgens-Moller's Cecil Taylor-influenced piano and limpid DX7.
Evan Parker has always had what you could call a philosophical approach to improvising - witness his aspiration towards an "existential performing attitude". But these recordings show the existential search for freedom tempered by a collective responsibility.They certainly fall under his ultimate term of approval for a musical performance - in their varied ways, they all amount to more than just an "attempt at honesty".

Andy Hamilton May 1996.


Evan Parker/Ghost-In-The-Machine,
Ghost-In-The-Machine feat. Evan Parker. LEO LAB 018

Beginnings/ Highup / Hipawl / Intertuba-Extremii / Radio Djibouti / Tivoli After Dark / FreeTechno / The Bass Piano / Birds In Cages / Train. 69:43
Parker, ts, ss; Christer Irgens-Moller, p, keyboards (DX-7, TX-802), voice; Peter Friis Nielsen, el b ; Pere Oliver Jorgens, d, perc; Martin Klapper, amplified objects, dictaphone, tapes, toys. Sept. 25-26/93, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Ghost-in-the-Machine is a Danish trio that has been playing together since 1987, a transmutation of a trio called Clinch, formed by Irgens-Moller and Nielsen in 1981. On paper that would look like a conventional piano trio layout with added keyboards, but looks can be deceiving. In practice they often create highly diffuse improvised soundscapes, close to percussion/ electronic music. For these recordings, they've added sound maker Klapper (I can't think of a clearer description - his arsenal seems to include amplified Slinky) as well as Parker. Klapper adds significantly to the unpredictability of sonic events, while Parker adds a stronger linear focus than the group might otherwise present.
The group and Parker are an excellent fit, able to interact on a variety of musical grounds. Many of the tracks are short concentrated explorations, organized around kernel phrases or sounds or both, with the musicians joining in spontaneous patters of similarity and difference. The music, as indicated by the titles, often has a "poetic" quality, evocative tangles of diverse elements, sometimes light and somtimes foreboding. Sound play isn't just tacked on but a fully integrated langugae, with the group achieving a number of distinct textures. There's also a more traditional band lurking in Ghost-in-the-Machine, a free Jazz ensemble capable of great drive, and made up of impressive and individual talents. "The Train" - the long conluding track - demonstrates sustained development with outstanding playing from Irgens-Moller.
All of Parker's perfromances are of interest, though here he's really a thoughtful and flexible guest with an excellent band. Though far more provisional in nature, this resonates in ways with the Parker/Lytton duo of the early seventies and his current electronic project. ( ... )

Stuart Broomer Oct. 1996.