Ingar Zach / M.O.S

Being a percussionist is far from the easiest way out. Having to learn (and buy!) a hundred different instruments, always keeping perfect time, always being the last one to complete your rig, perpetually carrying boxes upon boxes of gear in and out of buses and aeroplanes. Norwegian percussionist Ingar Zach decides to twist it to the next degree, playing with harmonic devices as well as the usual rhythmic ones. Shruti boxes and a drone commander make the underlying monotonal carpet upon which a long list of wooden, metal and other things bang against gongs, bells and debris of all sorts. The most special and prominent feature of Zach’s set up is still a giant “gran cassa” an orchestral bass drum, where he places all of his stuff. This adds resonance and amplifies the sounds, as well as being a magnificent visual centrepiece on stage.

15.08 / 2013

Trying to identify the various stuff utilised can actually be one way of enjoying this record. But to me, the mere sound of the instruments, the bowed cymbals, the superbly sounding gongs, the singing bowls and finger cymbals, leads to pure happiness. And the musical journey that Zach takes us for contains more than just pretty sounds. Already in the first few minutes of this single piece 37-minute recording he juxtaposes timbres and frequencies from singing bowls, creating interferences like ripples on a lazy pond. Expanding on this he weaves in his shruti boxes, drizzling chimes and rattling with wooden shell-like objects that sound like belongings of a Sami medicine man. Everything transparently superimposed, revealing in full detail the complete spectrum of frequencies Zach operates in.

The success of this album lies here: the treatment of harmonic and rhythmic parameters with equal respect to the two. A feat far from common for a record of solo drumming.