Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Fernando Grillo - Fluvine (1976)

Only solo album by avant-garde double bassist Fernando Grillo (1945-2013), the man responsible for breathing fearsome life into Iancu Dumitrescu's early recordings of his writing for double bass.  This four-part suite from the mid-70s makes one wonder if Grillo perhaps provided the original spark of inspiration to Dumitrescu for wringing every possible unearthly sound from the bass, whether in percussive attack or in ominous creakings and rumblings.

The sound quality is a little muted - not sure if from the original recording, or just in the mastering of this reissue.  In any case, more than enough of the unearthly tones of the bass come through here to show how unique Grillo's approach to his instrument was.  Fluvine Due made me think of early Throbbing Gristle in their more subdued moments, if Genesis P-Orridge had been a virtuoso on the bass rather than just whacking it as a percussive sound-source.  Don't know what's going on in Fluvine Tre - is that tape manipulation making the squeedgeing noises, or is it all Grillo?  Lastly, the 22-minute Fluvine Quattro packs in all of Grillo's phenomenal technique into an epic journey into the sound of one instrument.

mega / zippy

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