Recommended: Stijn Demuynck – “Pouancé”


Stijn Demuynck - "Pouance"This is a supremely gorgeous album.

This is a supremely gorgeous album.

This is a supremely gorgeous album.

This is a supremely gorgeous album.

I struggle to write about this supremely gorgeous album, because each time I play it over from the start, I get lost in the music and I forget to take any notes, jot down any thoughts, do anything resembling work that might result in an album write-up.  So I find myself perpetually typing, “This is a supremely gorgeous album.”

Pouancé is the debut of drummer Stijn Demuynck.  He and bassist Raphael Malfliet engage in all kinds of subtle shadowplay, and the tempos tend to stalk the melody more than guide it.  Those melodies are shaped by the reed instruments of Leonhard Huhn.  He keeps to the lower registers, which emits a haunting beauty.  It also provides some lovely contrast with the upper harmonics of the choir that joins in on some tracks.

Opening track “Pouancé” speaks to that quality right from the start.  A fluttering melody, yawns of harmony, and percussion that sometimes growls deeply and sometimes throws metallic streaks of dissonance across the surface of the song, somehow, all join together in grand unison.  “A Few Drops of Time” has an alluring blend of focused melodicism and random improvisation.  And then there’s “Ouverture” and the impression of a song in flight, like an Autumn leaf carried along by a stiff breeze.  “Eb & Vloed” has a sharp presence, as clarinet and chorus and percussion reveal some edge and exploit the inherent tension within.  The approach is similar on “Blauw in de Ardennen,” which begins as a stroll through the park and ends in the heart of the storm.

The album ends with the peaceful “Ze huppelde door de nacht.”  Demuynck’s acoustic guitar notes are glittering raindrops caught in the sunbeams of Huhn’s clarinet.  It’s a beautiful send-off on this supremely gorgeous album.

Your album personnel:  Stijn Demuynck (drums, percussion, guitar), Raphael Malfliet (electric bass), Leonhard Huhn (alto sax, bass clarinet, clarinet) and Thea Soti, Mascha Corman, Taisiya Chernishova, Maika Küster, Hanna Schörken, Lisa Müller (choir).

The album is Self-Produced.

Listen to more album tracks on the artist’s Bandcamp page.

Jazz from the Cologne, Germany scene.

Available at:  Bandcamp