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A re-mastered release of Icebreaker's breakout 1994 recording. Terminal Velocity is a must-have for fans of modern contemporary music.
“Unabashedly virtuosic” –The New York Times
“Adrenalin- pumping tour de force” –Gramophone
“A harmonic carnival of battling textures, symphonic discombobulations, and noicy innovations, all delivered with the visceral force of the best rock ‘n roll.” -Boston Herald
Icebreaker's creative discomfort is provoked by their ambivalent attitude to just about every musical language around: the result is music that helps define a number of existing borders in the act of crossing them. Cutting through all the ambivalence is an insistence on rhythmic and harmonic material tensile enough to withstand the demands they make in selecting new repertory. Rhythm is the most immediate of their explicit concerns, and in particular rhythmic dissonance: irregular rhythms, sudden, precise tempo changes, simultaneous different meters in different instruments or instrumental groups. One of Icebreaker's strengths is a virtuosity of ensemble rhythm, always achieved without a conductor. Evol, for instance, makes use of two basic rhythmic ideas, both of them apparently unnotatable, that le Gassick had come up against in a traditional jazz context. In attempting to pin down what it was that fascinated him about them he realised that both could be written down, albeit in a highly intricate way: the first rhythm is notated as five beats in the time of seven, and the second, rather tongue-in-cheek, in a time signature of 59/48 (a fraction shorter than a 5/4 bar). Bringing them off in performance, however, is more a question of feel than of metronomic precision. The whole point is not to square them out to the familiar jazz rhythms to which they approximate, since that would destroy the compelling, rather asthmatic rhetoric that results.