Moritz von Ozwald Trio – Vertical Ascent

For those who haven’t kept up, the Moritz von Ozwald Trio is a collaboration between Moritz von Ozwald, Max Loderbauer of Sun Electric and Sasu Ripatti AKA Luomo/Vladislav Delay. They’ve played live a few times, garnering much wider interest than you’d expect from one-off local gigs, unfortunately brought further in to the spotlight by Moritz Von Oswald’s recent rumoured stroke, just before the trio were due to play at last year’s DEAF.

The Trio’s long-awaited first release, Vertical Ascent, is now available for download for £4 from the Honest Jon’s website. There are physical media available for purchase in most vinyl/CD purveyors as well.

I’ve only had the time to listen to it twice today, and my thoughts are mixed. On one hand, this could never be as good as it looks on paper. On the other hand, the end result is not entriely what I would have expected. It’s more  percussive than I anticipated. It’s also very composed, with longer tracks that vary considerably and last quite some time. This isn’t that surprising given recent work like von Ozwald’s remixes of Auricle/Bio/On and Watamu Beach. Unfortunately, like those remixes, I feel that they promise more than they deliver. There are elements that distinguish it from these recent remixes, and they are welcome, but the end result initially feels the same. The tracks never really seem to arrive. It’s all ascent, stopping shot of the suggested apex.

There’s plenty here to be excited about, but based on first impressions, this isn’t likely to be getting much play in 2010 or beyond. The third and fourth tracks on Vertical Ascent may prove to be exceptions to that critique with repeated listens, but I’m not holding my breath based on my lack of continued enthusiasm for his recent (re)work.