ÄTSCH: ÄTSCH III - Expansive, cinematic sound by Dublin four-piece

The improv band’s third album weaves nicely between jazz, post-rock, math metal and West African polyrhythms

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Artist: ÄTSCH
Genre: Jazz
Label: Self-released

In the chaotic, economically challenging world of creative music, where projects come and go and alliances shift with the seasons, bands that stay together and develop their own personal sound are rare. Dublin four-piece ÄTSCH started life in 2016 as the graduation project of German-born guitarist Matthias Winkler, but the chemistry between its members – the band also features keyboardist Graeme Bourke, bassist Eoin O’Halloran and drummer Hugh Denman – has kept them together over the last six years, and the band’s third album proves the musical rewards that can flow from such sustained engagement.

Like all good improvising musicians these days, ÄTSCH’s references are wide and varied, a unique accumulation of their collective listening, embracing everything from the post-rock of Explosions in the Sky and Sigur Rós to minimalism and math metal to West African highlife and the music of the Pat Metheny Group. The writing by Winkler is succinct and brightly melodic, the playing from all is subtle and accomplished, and the recording by Dave McCune at Ventry Studios is impeccable.

The results have an expansive, cinematic quality that sustains over the course of the album’s six tracks, veering from slow-build minimalist patterns to moments of tender lyricism to grand, soaring climaxes that will resonate with anyone who needs a little light in these dark times.

Cormac Larkin

Cormac Larkin

Cormac Larkin, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a musician, writer and director