Over the last couple of years, Moonjune Records has proven to be one, perhaps THE leading record company when it comes to fusion. The more specific; experimental fusion, driven by stringed instruments. Just to be clear, in my opinion the piano is a stringed instrument, feel free to disagree. One of the latest outings is a wonderful collaboration between guitarist Mark Wingfield, who released Proof Of Light in 2015 (see review) and German touch guitar player Markus Reuter, member of Stick Men, The Crimson ProjeKct and participating in many other bands and projects. The dynamic duo is supported by the rhythm section that also was present on the aforementioned Mark Wingfield solo album and features on other Moonjune albums; fretless bass player Yaron Stavi and drummer Asaf Sirkis.
The Stone House is recorded in the same way as the albums of Liquid Tension Experience, Bozzio Levin Stevens and Attention Deficit; to create a natural improvised album that pushes each member to their musical limits. WRSS has all the technical skills as well as the inspiration to create something similar to the bands mentioned above, however some of the compositions tend to turn into chaotic piles of sounds and spheres, where I was hoping for a strong union of musical and technical display. The opener Rush is a brilliant jam that shows how inspired and open mindedly these four musicians co-operate and respect each other. During the following Four Moons, the focus tends to go to both Reuter and Wingfield, and turns out to be a nice slow jam session. Silver as well as Fjords De Catalunya still are quite accessible for the experienced fusion listener, harder is the ten minutes powerhouse Tarasque, where a kind of organised chaos confuses you to which of the instruments you should listen to at that moment. During this track the musicians become four musicians, where on previous tracks, the “band” feeling dominated. The final track Bona Nit Señor Rovira compensates the chaotic touch of the previous composition, gentle and subtle touch guitar sounds are blended with delicate guitar chords and smooth melodies, backed up by a modest rhythm section.
In the end The Stone House turns out to perfectly fit in the range, where the aforementioned bands were settled, but the album is not the game changer, the info was trying to convince me of. Still a very pleasant improvised album, for the advanced fusionatic and King Crimson adept.
**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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