Review: Jean-Luc Guionnet & Miguel A. García – Siticidelhous (Moving Furniture, Oct 19)

Siticidelhous feels like it might explode at any moment. Across two long-form pieces, improvisers Jean-Luc Guionnet and Miguel A. García build countless layers of tension that swirl and simmer beneath the fragile surface tension of dissonant drones and electronic tendrils. While this sort of setting usually finds Guionnet on the alto saxophone, here, like his duo record with Seijiro Murayama earlier this year, he plays the organ, while García sticks to his electroacoustic manipulations. ‘Play’ doesn’t seem to be the right word for how Guionnet coaxes sound from the instrument, however…it’s more like he squeezes it like an almost-empty toothpaste tube, forcing thin clusters of piercing high notes from the pipes that prick the listener’s ears like small needles. Despite both the musicians’ sound sources having the ability to produce loud cacophonies, they persist with a largely reductionist approach, and the busiest either piece gets is probably the soft interplay that emerges two-thirds of the way through “Lomburthstific.” But even then, as the crackling electric embers and anxious organ get louder and louder, none of that exquisite tension is released, remaining trapped forever within these barely substantial walls of delicate sound.