Ricarda Cometa & Dario Dubois Duo ~ DDDRC

ricarda-cometa-dddA collaboration between the explosive, anti-musical Ricarda Cometa and the krautrock dronesters of the Dario Dubois Duo would sound like something not entirely logical. After all, the last RC album was noisy, dirty, and full of unexpected turns, while the last DDD one was a serene and clear mantra meditation. The connections might not be obvious, but the two styles do meet at a point at which dissonance needs not be raucous and loud, where rhythm needs no stability to be a motor relentlessly driving a piece forward. It is not an act of balancing, either, as both bands adopt the language of each other and strain them to the best of their abilities, pushing base-line drones dangerously into the territory of Latin dance rhythms as much as stretching the bodily imperative of said rhythms into long-form psychedelia.

This is, to say the least, a fiery eclecticism, an avant-garde approach that sees the two bands continually in dialogue, at play with ideas that come from improv as much as from drone and psych rock, grounded upon the (un)commonality of an instrumental music that sounds like it belongs somewhere else, maybe the dancefloor, maybe the nearest experimental music joint. This out-of-placeness drove me to feel constantly torn between an urge for my body to lash out and move around as well as an abstracted, distant position; this play, this game of languages in opposition highlighted what seems to be basic about them, without all the intellectual encumbrance that years of listening has burdened my ears with. Thus, I could follow the African beats at the very heart of Latin American music, I could hear the mind-focusing reliability of rhythms even as everything surrounding them shifted and changed, the forceful electricity of the guitar that never really fades away…

All of this realizes the principles behind both band’s distinct projects in unexpected ways. As meditation, it makes no distinction between body and mind, between certainty and its other, even as it allows a certain degree of tension that appears to constitute a dichotomy where there is none: the dance becomes ritual, the meandering of your limbs as they produce new selves to replace the static, rigid old ones becomes the movement of a machine enlightened by repetition. You listen: “Cumple de Lulo” treads ever-forward, even as it seems to stop, its pulse a haunting energy that forcefully animates the feet. As carnival, the restraints of a quieter tone become a joyful game that asks for rules not to be broken but bent, subverting the transcendent aim of mindfulness with one that finds radical self-fulfillment in being out of tune with the rest of the world, those momentary lapses of reason where unrepeatable pleasures take place. You listen: the hi-hats in “Sin tacc” suddenly fall out of sync, if only for a second, creating ripples in the rest of the track, a barely noticeable event that, like laughter, inexplicably changes everything.

Perhaps the most representative track of the collaboration is “Míriam”, which sounds heavily slanted towards RC’s style, except there’s all these hints of raga and meditative music directly integrated into what could be a straightforward dance piece. It enacts the ritualized promise of RC’s first album as much as that offered by the last couple DDD ones, in a wonderfully eclectic style that is as exciting as it is joyful. With yet another monstrously fantastic cover art, these hybrid musicians once again have moved into unexpected terrain, finding resonance in styles and ideas that do not seem like they should go together. And yet, this monster they’ve created is, just like most, a sublime, grand fantasy hopefully everyone will listen to. (David Murrieta)

Available here, for free.

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