Lighthouse is a companion album to the mighty fine The Stone House, released earlier in the year but actually recorded before it during a marathon session in 2016, from which three albums will eventually emerge blinking into the uncaring daylight. The absence of bassist Yaron Stavi from this session sees his lower register taken by Markus Reuter’s Touch Guitar, and for whatever reason, this improvised creature is more of a progressive-experimental rock beast than the jazz animal of The Stone House, but this is powerful and feral rock of a kind that is flung out on a limb, billions of miles from conventionality.
Zinc and Derecho are powered by Asif Sirkis’ thunderous rumble of insistent rhythms, and the combination of Markus Reuter’s Touch Guitar and Mark Wingfield’s more conventional (hah!) guitar playing recall similar territory explored by Mastelotto, Gunn, and Fripp in the ProjeKcts, although by the time the blistering opener climbs to its incendiary climax, any comparison to anything at all is moot as this scorched earth fire monster incinerates all before it. Possibly the most compelling and fearsome opening two tracks of any album I have heard this year.
Ghost Light narrates illogical lifeforms that live many leagues under the waves, making lairs next to bubbling sulphurous springs in near boiling water. Impossible calciform structures reaching ever upwards in impenetrable darkness are briefly illuminated by symphonic washes of otherworldy sound from the textural imagination of Markus Reuter, while Mark Wingfield howls into the void, or in total contrast, soothes the troubled soul.
The craft resurfaces during Magnetic to find increasingly turbulent seas in the thrall of an approaching mighty storm. The tension is palpable as skittering nervous beats steer the craft through increasingly troubled waters, the flotsam and jetsam being tossed every which way on breaking waves of howling guitars and mounting insistent drum clatter.
A Hand In The Dark and Transverse Wave offer up a prayer and hear its response. Two extremely poetic pieces led by Mark’s fluid and elegiac improvisations, a keening incantation and commune with strange gods. The pounding excursion up and down and around dislocated scales that is Surge ends this exhausting album, one that has taken the listener on a journey into hitherto rarely explored dusty corners of the imagination. Together with The Stone House you will not hear two more essential or energetic albums of improvisation seat-of-the–pants playing this or any other year. Buy this now!
01. Zinc (7:47)
02. Derecho (8:29)
03. Ghost Light (14:19)
04. Magnetic (11:13)
05. A Hand In The Dark (4:54)
06. Transverse Wave (5:19)
07. Surge (4:30)
Total Time – 56:15
Mark Wingfield – Guitar
Markus Reuter – Touch Guitar
Asaf Sirkis – Drums
Record Label: MoonJune Records
Date of Release: 11th September 2017