I like how the Bedmakers strip down a folk song


The deconstruction of a tune can be just as much about breathing new life into a composition as it is stripping it down to its barest elements to see how it ticks.  It’s all about intent.  Is the motivation to dissect and analyze or is there a re-envisioning aspect to the breakdown.  And there are any number of ways a musician can go about effecting this process.  The chosen method of the Bedmakers quartet is to rip a flower off the stem, shove it into radioactive soil, and sit back and watch the mutations blossom into gorgeous, chaotic new colors.

Saxophonist Robin Fincker, violinist Mathieu Werchowski, bassist Pascal Niggenkemper and drummer Fabien Discombs take variations on tunes by John Fahey, Bert Jansch, and traditional works from Scotland and Ireland, and turn them into something strangely familiar and yet profoundly new.  The saying is that everyone has a twin; applied to the album Tribute To An Imaginary Folk Band, the twins of the original compositions are aliens visiting from a planet very far away.  Waves of dissonance come crashing down on fragments of the original melodies, and they remain out of sight until long divergences run their course.  Sweetly fond reminiscences upon the spirit of songs will suddenly metamorphose into beastly abnormalities that, oddly, retain a trace of their essential tunefulness.  And no less compelling are those passages when the foot-tapping characteristics of the original work are ratcheted up, but with a groove rather than via a catch melody.

The quartet takes their name from a John Fahey song title, and their music also adopts the spirit of his creative arc.  In that same way Fahey began to incorporate other folk music influences into his American blues and, later, veered into avant-garde territories, the Bedmakers exhibit that same attitude of boundless wandering… even if it’s just to circle back to where they started and begin a new beginning.

A very fun and exciting album.

Your album personnel:  Robin Fincker (tenor sax, clarinet), Mathieu Werchowski (violin), Pascal Niggenkemper (double bass) and Fabien Duscombs (drums).

Released on the Freddy Morezon label.

Listen to more of the album on the label’s Bandcamp page.

Available at:  Bandcamp