Mazen Kerbaj, Charbel Haber, Jade Balabane: BAO (Those Kids Must Choke, 2005)
Even lifeless scraps of metal have their say on this record. Recorded in one restless day in June 2005, this is the first studio release from BAO, a free improvisation trio active in Beirut since 2002.
The sounds generated by this fearless threesome float along the far frontiers of colorist harmony, occasionally venturing into texture-land. Jingly, drone-like, and detuned guitar elements hover on the edge of melody, coupled with tape-sampling intrusions, peculiar blooping percussive bonks, and choking trumpet.
The vitality of interaction between the musicians, arising from their ability and responsiveness as improvisers, sets these 5 pieces apart from routine nebulous drift and impressionistic sketches. Engineering mood and crafting atmosphere are part of the agenda, but the real interest resides in a sense of three accomplished instrumentalists sparking together, collaboratively shaping a busy flow of sound, while each leaving their personal mark upon it.