Since the early nineties, Vienna-based Radu Malfatti has been investigating the edges of ultraminimalism in both his composed and improvised work. On imaoto, he is joined by empathetic explorer Klaus Filip to create an instant classic.
Radu Malfatti has been a major presence in the European free improv scene since the early seventies. He's been a member of such stellar bands as the Brotherhood of Breath, the London Jazz Composers' Orchestra, and the King Ubu Orchestra, as well as countless small groups. Malfatti's recent focus on developing a unique style of superspare, tranquil music led him to join the Wandelweiser collective, a group of like-minded composers, in 1994. Since 2006, Malfatti has been releasing recordings spanning the past 12 years of his compositions on his own b-boim label, which cumulatively are one of the important bodies of work of recent times. imaoto is his second release for Erstwhile, following 2001's superb and influential dach.
Klaus Filip has been involved in the experimental music world since the early nineties in a wide range of capacities. He invented the open-source software lloopp, which is used by many prominent laptop improvisers, including Christian Fennesz and Christof Kurzmann. Filip only has a handful of releases, most notably Aluk (w/Toshi Nakamura), Los Glissandinos-Stand Clear (w/Kai Fagaschinski), and Building Excess (w/Malfatti, Mattin, and Dean Roberts). Filip's music has become increasingly minimal in recent years, searching for the limits of perception, in loudness and movement. imaoto is his first release for Erstwhile.
Malfatti and Filip have performed a handful of duo concerts over the years, with the first in 2003. In 2006, they played a remarkable set in Maria Chavez's Houndstooth store in NYC, a very memorable show for the couple of dozen listeners in attendance as well as for the musicians themselves. In October 2008, they spent a day at Amann Studios and recorded the two pieces that make up imaoto. The results are undeniably gorgeous, musical, and impeccably recorded. The ultraminimalist aesthetic of the music is echoed in Yuko Zama's sparse design.
"This is probably the most beautiful Radu Malfatti's trombone has ever sounded on a recording. It is deep but not heavy, attaining, in Christoph Amann's studio, a very personal, nearly vocal presence. Klaus Filip works miracles of intuition with his sine tones, seemingly knowing the precise harmonic answer even before the question is asked. The two are exploring a world of hidden contours and curves, quietly, step-by-step; never hurried, never tedious."-Michael Pisaro