I guess it happens every so often but meetings of "bands" seems a bit uncommon, here the Atolón trio (Ruth Barberán, Alfredo Costa Monteiro, Ferran Fages) and the Chip Shop Music quartet (Erik Carlsson, Martin Küchen, David Lacey, Paul Vogel) offering two tracks, live and studio. One immediate plus: there's absolutely no sense of overcrowding, the new septet providing ample space in which to maneuver. The first track, the live one, begins very winningly, with chimes and burbles, spreads it self out without hurry, very relaxed. Too relaxed? well, maybe. At 43+ minutes, there's a sprawling tendency that offers less in the way of implied form than I'd like to hear; hard to quantify. The music is fine but doesn't feel especially notable. The "private" cut, at about half the length, is perhaps necessarily more succinct, tauter. The sounds possess a bit more urgency (it's wonderful to hear at least a snatch of Costa Monteiro's accordion sounding like an accordion, and Küchen's alto has some delicious moments), a greater sense of purpose as though they're striving to get somewhere.
Brian Olewnick, Just Outside