Chromatic Music 2018
Brazilian band bent on Bartók deliver their audacious dances to appreciative audience.
Dedication, determination and a right dose of madness” that’s what made DIALETO’s "Bartók in Rock" such a storming success, yet taking the album many perceived as a one-off experiment to the stage, in the company of the ensemble’s co-conspirator David Cross, seemed a daunting endeavor of much larger proportions, which the trio and their guest didn’t shy away from – and not without a reason. A concert the foursome performed two months after the record’s release provided the players with a perfect opportunity to project more light and, thus, add more shade to the picture detailed in studio.
They enriched it not only with new nuances. “Mikrokosmos 78: Five Tone Scale” wasn’t part of the album’s scope, but this piece expands its enchanting electric panorama now, growing from an immense soundscape to a prog-folk assault, where instruments alternately swirl in unison and spar for focus, while “An Evening In The Village” is unleashing an anxious festivity in front of an audience. In the beginning, though, “Dance 3: Standing Still” sets a static expectancy with a throb that Nelson Coelho’s six strings paint deceptively chaotic lines on for rhythm section to structure into proper patterns which will amount to heavy metal viscosity, before Gabriel Costa’s bass and Fred Barley’d drums make “Dance 2: Peasant Costume” vivacious by letting a vibrato-spurred guitar flutter and introduce frenzy to the mix.
Very different, “Dance 4: Stick Game” is where Latin sensuality would be unveiled and let loose with a prospect of augmenting the suite’s European landscape yet, anchored thanks to a bottom-end rumble. “Mikrokosmos 149: Six Dances In Bulgarian Rhythm II” marries circular Balkan wildness to angular urban funk, and it’s there that Crimsonian picking comes to the surface pulling the filigree of “Mikrokosmos 113: Bulgarian Rhythm I” into a violin-enhanced view. The appearance of Cross on this track is energizing, his bow’s splashes turning “The Young Bride” into funeral pyre so, compared to these, four KING CRIMSON numbers look less experimental, being delivered in too reverent a way. Still, “Exiles” feels rather fierce, and “The Talking Drum” veers away from its erstwhile template, and the veteran’s solo track “Tonk” helps the ensemble exercise their telepathy.
One-off, then? Shouldn’t be, because it’s extravaganzas like this that revert indulgent prog to the righteous path.