Gareth Davis & Frances-Marie Uitti
Miasmah Recordings
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miacd 019
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12 am 4:39
2Felt 7:15
3Smoke 4:04
4Cold Call 4:18
5Detour 20:52
6Razor 5:35
7Stained 13:44

On ‘Gramercy’, we find clarinet abuser Gareth Davis (who might be best known for collaborations with Machinefabriek and Steven R. Smith) paired with virtuoso cellist Frances-Marie Uitti. Uitti is widely revered for her unusual and original twin bow technique, which allows her to eke out far more sounds from the humble cello that you might initially expect. These sweeps and drones are matched perfectly with Davis’s patented haunted drones and breathy chokes resulting in a deftly academic yet unnervingly involving narrative. ‘Gramercy’ manages the most difficult thing of all and makes music usually restricted to the hallowed libraries of institutions somehow read perfectly amongst label- mates Kreng and Gultskra Artikler. Davis and Uitti are not self-consciously ‘dark’ but their treatments, when combined evoke unmistakably shadowy, abstract imagery. It would be demeaning to simply label ‘Gramercy’ as cinematic, but this is dreamlike and alluring in the best possible way, bringing to mind the seamier, more unusual celluloid memories you could possibly conjure up. While challenging, the patient listener will be rewarded with an album of divine restraint, with its darkest corners inhabited by barely a whisper of sound, and in the end it is this which truly scares us.