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' 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 dream-like 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.
item # 33061