Friday 1 November 2013

Max Luthert - Shadows boxer

Max Luthert - Bass
Max Luthert stepped out of the shadows on the 14th October 2013 and recorded his debut album at Clown's Pocket Studio. With only a solitary composition to his name in "Assam" it was hard to know what to expect. Promise and curiosity were piqued with that lone addition to Partikel's second album "Cohesion" and with that mere glimpse we wondered what else lay under the surface of Luthert's iceberg.

Derek Nash
At the helm of the studio was Derek Nash, who has developed a close relationship with Luthert, and Partikel colleague Duncan Eagles. Where once Nash took a hands-on approach, even appearing on an early "Jazz Proof" album, he is now a fixer. Maybe tailor would be more appropriate, he stitches together these young players ideas, a nip and tuck here to create the stylish package that ultimately stands before us. In fact he was so relaxed he spent the morning session preparing sweet chestnuts for the freezer whilst repairing the odd Eagles dropped stitch.

Matt Robinson -
From old to new, Matt Robinson, is becoming a fixture on these South London Collectives and played an early role in "Grand Designs".

Duncan Eagles - Saxophone
Not a homage to the aspirational middle-class TV programme, but this was a little more Albert Speer, with the tune's compositional boulevards getting bigger and bigger after every vamp. Robinson scribbled all over Luthert's drawing board, creating a flourishing chaos that us humans seem to perfect.

Gareth Lockrane - Flute
The Saxophones of Seb Pipe (Alto) and Duncan Eagles (Tenor/Soprano) built the scaffold but they had deviated from architect Luthert's carefully drawn plans. "We're adding an extra note, but why are we both doing it?". To the untrained ear it was undetectable but obviously made all the difference as "Grand Designs" reached it conclusion like a teetering Tower of Babel. They stopped their construction luckily before the inevitable conclusion.

Seb Pipe - Alto Saxophone
"Edgewall" gave us a taste of what was to come, a surprise to me, for amongst the saxophone forestation here was the first dell. This glade became a clearing and broke out into the panoramic "Cloud On Cloud", a tune which represents Max Luthert's vision better than any. His spearhead on this and many other tracks was Gareth Lockrane on flute. The drums of Dave Hamblett provided the thermals and Matt Robinson a gentle breeze as Lockrane rose.

Dave Hamblett - drums
"Pacific Before Tiger" starts with a downy burr like Luthert's chin, soft and gentle but degenerated into more familiar Partikel territory with some spikey saxophone whiskers. There were 4 more tracks recorded, "Orbital", "Quiet December", "Metro Moodie" alongside a spanking new composition. You'll have to wait to hear those when the album comes out in 2014.

I'll be writing some more about them in my Album Inspirations too, because Max Luthert has put the artwork in my ink stained hands.

For now Luthert is back in the trio spotlight as Partikel traverse the windswept Scottish Highlands as part of their Autumn Tour. His music though still lurks in the sweet shadows and rather than it being thrust out, it is us who shall be pulled in.


See Partikel tonight in Edinburgh (1st Nov) and Fife on Sunday (3rd Nov).

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