Exposé Online banner

Stick Men — Open
(7d Media 7D1313, 2012, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-04-01

Open Cover artAfter 2011's Absalom, this is the second release by the Markus Reuter version of Stick Men, and it's a very different beast than that album. Rather than tightly composed, intimately rehearsed music, this is nearly a full hour of improvised sounds. Anyone who's caught the band at any of their live shows knows that improvisation is an integral part of their aesthetic, so it's good to have that documented on Open. It helps that they're all such skilled players who are acutely attuned to each other — it seems no matter how fiery the playing becomes, they manage to leave each other space to shine. The aural landscapes range from droning near-ambient overlapping loops to intense rhythmic workouts. For those who haven't seen the band live, there is some similarity to the kinds of textures found in later-period King Crimson improvisations (THRaKaTTaK). Aside from Pat Mastelotto's percussion, which is easily identifiable, the division of labor between Tony Levin and Markus Reuter is nearly impossible to deduce. While there are a few of the trademark Levinisms from time to time, most bits could be from either player. Of course, there are degrees of improvisation, and it's hard to tell how much planning went into these eight tracks, so I won't gush about telepathy. Suffice it to say that if you like the band's composed work, it's fairly likely this set will also appeal to you.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 40, 2012 releases

Related artist(s): Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto, Markus Reuter, Stick Men

More info
http://iapetus-store.com/album/open
http://7dmedia.bandcamp.com/album/open

Latest news

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

PTS - Tides – Take your typical 80s pop band (Mr.Mister, Tears for Fears, Simple Minds or any of a thousand others I've since willingly forgotten), give the keyboards more of a major role and you'll have half an...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues