Somnambule - Writing About Music

Lunge ~ Strong Language

Lunge are Gail Brand trombone, Phil Durrant electronics and acoustic violin, Pat Thomas electronics and acoustic piano and Mark Sanders percussion. The first four tracks are from a concert in Amsterdam in 2002, the final two tracks were recorded in a London studio in 2000.
I wound my way into Lunge’s labyrinth via the thread of Mark Sanders’ wonderful percussion. The lucid, instinctive support and direction he provides to the other three is remarkable: his insistence on rhythmic foundation (however malleable) and counterpoint is the binding element of the group.

Planarchy (is that a real word or an excellent, oxymoronic conflation?) is a 16 minute stop-motion journey through a day in the life of a sonic jungle. It begins with a riot of animal and insect noise, moves through passages of murmur and worry which are succeeded by the terror of huge, hooved animals stampeding through a clearing close by, and eventually ends in moon-soaked exhaustion.

Rough With The Smooth continues the nocturnal atmosphere and explores its possibilities. Pat Thomas’s sparse piano chords fall like amber depth charges in the silvery light, Gail Brand’s trombone joins in singing mournful notes. Later she employs a variety of flutters, moans and stabs to navigate through thickets of scraped percussion.

White Writeable Area starts out foregrounding brushwork, electronic noise, a repetitive figure plucked out on violin; there’s the flicker of cymbals and warm fibrous trombone acting as focal point. Much of Strong Language is quiet, intricately detailed, but No Filters charges headlong for its four minute duration full of roaring, bellowing and clanging.

The electronics employed by Durrant and Thomas add much to the sonic possibilities of the group without ever being self-consciously foregrounded. Listen to this recording with half as much concentration as the players do to each other and you’ll reap ample reward.
Colin Buttimer
February 2003
Published by the BBC