Akku Quintet: Molecules

Second album from the minimalist Swiss ensemble.

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Following on from their sublime 2013 debut Stages Of Sleep, this Berne-based outfit continue to explore a rich seam of languidly minimalist rock.

Led by Sonar drummer Manuel Pasquinelli, AKKU Quintet shares some of the same contrapuntal DNA of his parent band. Consisting of just four Pasquinelli compositions, Molecules at first listen appears rather restrained. Yet for all the implied tranquility, Maja Nydegger’s gently insistent keyboard motifs have a habit of getting under the skin as they marry up with each component instrument. Against the tightly anchored rhythmic interplay of Pasquinelli and new Quintet recruit Andi Schnellmann on bass, Markus Ischer throws vivid daubs of impressionistic guitar, creating bright, resonant shapes. These reverbed abstractions glow and shimmer, occasionally recalling Syd Barrett’s silvery psychedelic slide work. Thierry Lüthy’s tenor sax either gently caresses the edges of unison melodies or opens up new themes with aplomb and grace. Spacious and unhurried, Molecules is an integrated and articulate suite whose sparkling lyrical moments are never subsumed or lost within its mesmeric structure.