For almost ten years, Ruben Machtelinckx has followed an extraordinary path in Belgian and European improvised music. As a guitarist, but equally as a composer. It began in 2013, when the quartet Machtelinckx/Badenhorst/Jensson/Wouters released their debut, ‘Faerge’. The album was praised by international press and was listed ‘Best Belgian jazz release’ by Knack magazine. In 2020 he won the Klara Award for Best Belgian Jazz release for his latest record: Porous Structures (Aspen 009). In between were collaborations with Øyvind Skarbø, Nils Økland, Niels Van Heertum, Ingar Zach. Duos seem to suit gitarist Ruben Machtelinckx well: an interplay between two individuals. After projects with Thomas Jillings (Linus), Karl Van Deun and Frederik Leroux (Poor Isa, Aspen 007), there is now a project with Norwegian brass player Arve Henriksen.
Arve Henriksen is one of the world’s gentlest, sweetest and purest trumpet players. He has released more than a dozen albums under his own name, mostly with the exceptional label Rune Grammofon. He has been part of projects by Christian Wallumrød, Trygve Seim and Trio Mediæval, among others, which found a home at ECM. He is also a member of the avant-garde quartet Supersilent.
Guitar and trumpet. Trumpet and guitar. The pawns on the board are few in number and modest in decoration. Again, Machtelinckx opts for the purely acoustic. Including improvisations that are everything but hermetic, with special guitar tunings and a focus on texture experiments. And including eight vintage Machtelinckx compositions, with singable melodies and strong harmonies. A short story is a meeting of two gentle musicians from which nothing but quiet music can emerge, so straightforward that it hurts a little. The album is testimony of the very first time they met and the tension that comes with it.