Begegnung in Baden-Baden
New Phonic Art were a German free music ensemble with ties to radical composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. Their membership included composer and trombonist Vinko Globokar and saxophonist Michel Portal – they were yet another group that featured composers and improvisers, something borne out by the hesitant, yet compelling music documented on Begegnung In Baden-Baden. It’s clear-headed without being particularly demonstrative; the percussive tinkerings from Jean-Pierre Drouet tend to drive things, with composer-instrumentalist Carlos Roqué Alsina’s keyboards colouring the sidelines with detail, while Portal and Globokar sound across the sonic mesh with clarinet, saxophone, trombone, oboe, and alphorn. They’d later be compiled on Deutsche Grammophon’s ‘Free Improvisation’ box set, along with Iskra 1903, and Wired, a trio featuring Krautrock producer extraordinaire Conny Plank.
– Jon Dale