The Wire

The slow-moving, etheral, electroacoustic opening track on Panopticon, ”Wide red”, wouldn’t be out of place on an ambitious contemporary classical programme, whereas the track that follows moves in dramatic improvisational fits and starts. The final track, ”Vanishing Point”, suggestive of steel drums and gamelan, drifts along in a dreamlike fashion until an omnious electronic swell, underpinned by rumbles from the bottom end of the piano keyboard, disrupts the mood, then it, in turn, fades away. Drawing sustenance from both composition and improvisation, Point 4 make an unpredictable music that eludes categorisation. The group consists of two percussionists, Ingar Zach and Bjørn Rabben, pianist Kenneth Karlsson and pianist/electronicist Jon Balke. Zach is an improvising percussionist who has increasingly been exploring compositional structures that guide improvisation, while Karlsson and Rabben are founder members of the Norwegian New Music Ensemble Cikada. Although Point 4, as Cikada, work with composers such as Rolf Wallin and James Dillon, here the music is all their own, and from start to finish it’s an absolute treat.

Brian Marley