PAKT – No Steps Left To Trace

MoonJune 2024

Easy on the ear yet intellectually challenging and intrepidly tuneful exercises in telepathy by a fearsome foursome who refuse to lift off.

No Steps Left To Trace

“Spontaneous Combustion”: the title of this album’s blitz of a finale might be its best surface characteristic – if only the platter’s pieces didn’t sustain a simmering state most of the time, with fiery bursts of sounds arresting the listener’s focus while resigning to melodic flow between the sunstorm flares. Literally all in a day’s work, just like the quartet’s 2021 debut which set their live-in-a-lab template, the second studio opus from Percy Jones, Alex Skolnick, Kenny Grohowski and Tim Motzer doesn’t really pick up where its predecessor left off, though. In the interim, they put in quite a lot of concert performances – as reflected on the second disc of “No Steps Left To Trace” – that sharpened the friends’ mind-reading and shapeshifting abilities. The stunning results of the still-fresh experience are on show here, in the crossfire covering expansive sonic tapestries, mini-epics and a short epitome of the information massive on offer.

The last-referred cut, “Wormhole” – a loose tangle of Motzer’s cosmic electronica and Grohowski’s percussive ripples – that shimmers for less than two minutes, can serve as a key to the record’s two two-partite sagas which summarily fluctuate for almost an hour. Both the titular one – whose flow is directed by Jones’ elastic, occasionally menacing bass, with Skolnick’s delicate strum unhurriedly shooting out flurries of lightning-fast notes – and “On The Other Side” – whose effects-laden, funky flux of moods is split down the middle by the aforementioned brief blast – secretly expose their fusion interface to very trad-jazz sounding snippets of tunes, and both are cinematically dynamic. Impressive even in the platter’s quietest moments, these passages breathe life into abstract motifs, when Alex and Tim’s lines interweave, solo filigree feeding into aural fibers – forth and back, forth and back – and the onstage dives into “Solar Myth” and “The Ghost Mills” take it all to the limit, for a test drive, whereas three “NYC” tracks forage for raga and other multifaceted fantasies in a forest of sophisticated rhythmic figures.

This is the place with no steps left to trace: once released, they disappear for good – for the good aftertaste which lingers on.


June 30, 2024

Category(s): Reviews
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *