1. Vista I
2. Vista II
3. Vista III
4. Vista IV
5. Vista V
cd/dl on A New Wave of Jazz, June 2022
Recorded at Worm, 16 April 2021, by Vincent Denieul.
Mixed by Gonçalo Almeida. Mastered at the Sunny Side Inc. studio (Anderlecht, Belgium).
I started with the one release that had no involvement of Serries as a musician, and that s the Hydra Ensemble. This Rotterdam based quartet consists of Goncalo Almeida (double bass), Lucija Gregov (cello), Nina Hitz (cello) and Rutger Zuydervelt (electronics; he's also responsible for the label's distinct artwork). I had not had the pleasure of seeing them in concert or hearing their debut, 'Voltas'. Perhaps this is a strange line-up, so I thought, with three instruments within the same range, but their approach is quite open as far as I know these players. The double bass is mainly plucked, while the two cellos alternate between being plucked and played with a bow. The oddball here is the presence of Rutger Zuydervelt, whose electronics play an exciting role — adding rumbles of acoustic sounds, electronic textures, atmospheres, and ambiences. Within the improvised music that this music is, he part is indeed an oddball, and it brings the music to another level. Coupled with more constant plucking and strumming, which takes out some of the album's more hectic moves, the balance rocks back and forth between threatening, wild chaos and some great reflective moments, such as in 'Vista II' and 'Vista IV'. Everything is under control; the bass plucks, some uneven strumming and the electronics are a ghosty shadow; they are my favourite pieces of the record, but I enjoy them all. In terms of chaos, I liked 'Vista III' best but found it hard to say why; just a feeling, I guess. There is some excellent interaction between the four players here (the biggest group of players for these five new releases), showing they have been playing together for quite some time.