The New Year as arrived and with it some new releases like Martin Rach’s self-released Late Autumn Quartets. Martin Rach, whether he’s performing under an alias (Mons Jacet or Morten Rasz or Chtin Mara) or even with a fictional band, is always innovating new ways to craft sounds. For instance Late Autumn Quartets is a continuation of his November release, Early Autumn Quartets (suRRism-Phonoetics), but with Late Autumn Quartets, Rach has added more pickups to the zithers in an effort to capture more sound.
These quartets are pieces that capture Rach at his improvisational best with a heavy touch of what he calls sound surgery, which is I am assuming Rach coming back around and adding other sounds whether a bongo (don’t wince), a kalimba, or something else. However, Rach doesn’t lose the freshness of the sound after reworking it.
Late Autumn Quartets opens with “Double Swing” which begins mainly as a percussive improvisation, but then the zithers come more into focus which is probably due to Rach’s recording set up as the recorder is not stationary, moving the sound closer and then further away. “Squared Circles” is composed of zithers, a kalimba and a bongo (hey, don’t wince; it works). But just as you got comfortable with the first two acoustic tracks on Late Autumn Quartets, Rach swivels and begins “Raving Threads” with a Korg volca bass and then quickly enters the swirling noise of electronics. Wonderful. The four track album closes out with “Root Architecture” which begins with a wall of sound as the zithers and bongos are mixed back into themselves and into the realm of sweet, sweet noise.
All the tracks of Late Autumn Quartets are full and engaging, sometimes trance-like, but always intoxicating. If you like it you can either download it for free at Free Music Archive or drop Rach a few shekels on Bandcamp.