The New Percussion Group of Amsterdam – Go Between
1987 – EG Records
The title track starts side one, with guest Bill Bruford (who’s work with King Crimson is amazing) on drums. After an introduction features an assortment of mallet instruments and the drumset, it breaks down to a single marimba. There is a repeated pattern that slightly changes as other instruments come in and out. This piece reminds me of a Reich composition at points. Unlike a Reich composition, though, it moves through sections relatively quickly. The dynamic range on this performance is epic, they get so low and so high! The next piece, “Redbone”, is written for five log-drums and peacock gongs. The repeated patterns are hypnotic. As we flip the record, we are greeted by the other special guest artist on the recording, Keiko Abe on marimba. “Marimba Spiritual” takes its time to materialize, it starts off very sparse. When it does start to pick up, it doesn’t disappoint, building tension and complexity. The patterns played on percussion fly by underneath blazing marimba lines. This piece is the highlight of the album for me. This album concludes with “Maenaden” which feels like a culmination of work that came before it. Three marimbists and a percussionist trade lines back and forth, making an interesting and fun track to listen to. I really like listening to percussion music (as you could probably guess). The wide variety of percussion instruments give so many possibilities for combinations, melody, rhythms, etc. This album is a good intro to percussion music so go check it out!