KALI Trio, Loom Review
by: Ferell Aubre
KALI Trio is a Swiss-based band comprised of Raphael Loher (piano), Urs Mülller (guitar), and Nicolas Stocker (drums). The trio creates music as a cooperative, with every member contributing equally to the writing and creative activities. KALI Trio received ZKB Jazz “The Audience Award” in 2017 and was also awarded from the city of Lucerne in 2018. KALI has performed in the last years for several festivals like Jazz festival Willisau, Cully Jazz, InJazz Rotterdam, Match&Fuse Festival, and Suisse Diagonales Jazz. Their original score for Thomas Imbach’s movie NEMESIS will arrive in 2021 and was nominated for Solothurn Film Festival 2021 in the category Best Documentary and Best Sound. Their latest album is called LOOM; four tracks of music exploring prog groove, noise, new minimal, ambient, and new classical chamber music are just dialects of a common language with jazz-influenced improvisations. The trio is fluent in both composed and free improvised musical contexts and follows their musical intuition with a comprehensive and non-ideological understanding of music history.
“Shipol” opens with a rhythmic groove on the drums. The guitar and piano join to create a modern sound with a deep sense of time and colors. The atmosphere is building with textures of electronic music, ambient, and film music. Mülller’s use of natural harmonics and effects pedals are exciting and create many textures and colors. The building of the ostinatos is also very effective in the song’s growing energy and each musician’s contribution to the soundscape. The song has a definite shape with a climactic section and a releasing of tension. The KALI Trio has unique sounds and deep listening skills.
“Transitoriness” has a rolling drum groove from Stocker as Loher coaxes rhythmic figures from his prepared piano and placing his hands on the strings. Mülller’s ambient sounds are the icing on the cake that leads to the opening ostinato from the piano. The world music overtones meld with the ambient sounds to create a unique and atmospheric sound. The change of harmonic colors builds to the climax and release; again, the trio satisfyingly shapes the music making it easy to listen to and enjoy.
The KALI Trio spins out an impressive collection of easy-going soundscapes that offers a fresh perspective on the jazz landscape. The songs on LOOM grow and have a chance to play upon and warm your emotions. The three musicians lays bare their ability to raise any groove above the norm and gets high marks all around for notable artistry and teamwork.