Nik Bärtsch piano; Sha bass clarinet, alto saxophone; Björn Meyer bass; Kaspar Rast drums; Andi Pupato percussion
The third album from one of the most exciting young European bands, “Llyrìa” follows on from “Stoa” and “Holon”, the recordings that established the Swiss band Ronin on the international scene. Leader Nik Bärtsch’s “modular” pieces still define the context of the group’s music but the committed input of the individual Ronin members has lifted the work to the next level, blurring the distinctions between composition, improvisation and interpretation. The music has become more open, so much so that Bärtsch’s old buzzwords like “Zen funk” and “ritual groove music” now scarcely apply and even “minimalism” is only a distant reference. Reed player Sha shines brightly here, and lyrical melodic themes make themselves felt, but perhaps this is, more than its predecessors, a drummer’s record, its beats lovingly crafted by Kasper Rast and percussionist Andi Pupato. Recorded in the South of France in March 2010, with Manfred Eicher producing.