Center. The name may define the furtive action of search engines, but it says plenty about the music made by this trio, whose members reside in New Haven, Connecticut. Stefan Christensen, Ian McColm and Dave Shapiro make music so weighty that it generates its own gravity, and yet transparent enough to see straight through to its center. They have arrived at a sound located within a matrix of possibilities suggested by their many shared and separate ventures. It is the sonic orb around which Christensen’s post-Xpressway analog alchemy; Shapiro’s expositions of acoustic guitar expressivity under the name Alexander and as an accompanist for Kath Bloom, McColm’s generation of pulsing freedom as the drummer for Heart of the Ghost and diverse improvisational ensembles, Shapiro and Christensen’s unification of historically sound psychedelic practices from either side of the Pacific Ocean as part of Headroom, and McColm and Shapiro’s explorations of electric guitar turbulence in Nagual all turn.
If you were to search for Center’s generative root, you’d find it in Nagual. Christensen first joined the duo in 2016, first as a deputy, and ultimately a full member. Their improvisations acquired a quieter, more spacious character. This transformation necessitated a new name, and they have been working towards completing this LP ever since. While all of the music on Over The Stations originated spontaneously, it has been subjected to centrifugal forces of evaluation and collective debate in order to distill the trio’s essence. Modulated chimes, squeezebox respirations, strategic drum beats, humid reeds, and pond-dwelling synth voices augment what is essentially a stringed instrument trio. Listen in, and listen deep. – Bill Meyer
The power trio that is charging up, charging up and charging up. Rewind and release. – Guy Mercier