New Review of Freetime CD


Add titleNew Review of Freetime CD


FREETIME with GEORGE HASLAM / STEVE HUBBACK / AIDA MUJACIC / JOZEF LASKA – Lamps, Clocks and Towers (Slam 334; UK) Freetime is George Haslam on taragato, Aida Mujacic on piano & voice, Jozef Laska on contrabass & bass guitar and Steve Hubback on percussion. This is a live recording from the Absinty Klub in Ostrava, in the Czech Republic. UK reeds player, George Haslam, keeps busy working with musicians from all over: South America, Italy, Portugal and Eastern Europe. For this quartet date, the only other musician here I know is percussionist & instrument-maker Steve Hubback, who has a dozen discs out on the FMR label. Since this recording takes place in the Czech Republic, I think that the other two musicians, Ms. Aida Mujacic & Jozef Laska, might be Czech. This is the second disc in a row in which Mr. Haslam plays exclusively taragato, a large clarinet-like instrument from Eastern Europe. 
   There are five songs on this disc and each one is titled with a folky/fairytale like theme. The opening piece, “Here We Go” has a sprawling, somber, spirit/free jazz flow or vibe. Ms. Mujacic is playing some sort of electric piano (Wurlitzer?) which has a most charming sound. The music has a quaint, older sound, somehow folk-themed yet free as well.  Better known as a metal sculptor, drummer Steve Hubback plays mostly with mallets on his drum set and sounds superb, organic, ritualistic rhythms with a steam of simmering electric piano, acoustic bass and Haslam’s taragato snaking its way through dream-like flow. I realized by the time this disc ended that what I liked most about it was the overall dreamy vibe that flows throughout and the thoughtful low-key interaction between all four musicians. We are all dancing together gracefully and nobody ever steps on anyone else’s toes. – Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG 29 January 2021.    

Some new reviews in the USA of the new Metal Moves Metalkymist album on FMR. December 2020.

Review by Squidco

Percussionist Steve Hubback’s project Metal Moves presents the percussionist, composer and instrument maker’s work, using drums, gongs, bells, cymbals and percussive sculptures in well-developed compositions that evoke mysterious environments that evolve into muscular displays of extraordinary power, a beautifully balanced album of uniquely voice solo percussion. All instruments in these recordings are created and performed on by Hubback. “Son Yr Christr” is a traditional Breton work; all other pieces are composed and performed by Hubback.

Review by Downtown Music Gallery.

METALKYMIST with STEVE HUBBACK – Metal Moves (FMR 582; UK) Welsh drummer/percussionist, Steve Hubback, has jazz with British legends: Keith Tippett, Evan Parker & Alan Skidmore, as well as playing in rock bands and dancers. In 1990, Mr. Hubback started making his own gongs and cymbals, eventually turning them into unique structures for him to play. Mr. Hubback has worked long on creating these unique percussion structures which must be seen to be believed. Check them out here: Aside from numerous solo offerings, Mr. Hubback has recorded with Andrea Centazzo, Frode Gjerstad and Dietmar Diesner. Every few years, Hubback records under the name of Metal Moves with three previous CD’s on the FMR label. This appears to be a solo effort released under the Metal Moves name with Mr. Hubback playing drums, cymbals and gongs. These instruments are immensely dynamic and superbly well-recorded. The music often sounds like Mr. Hubback is telling a story or taking us on a journey. It sounds as if Mr. Hubback is using a bow or some sort of reverb device to enhance his unique metal instruments, adding an aura of mystery or dream-like resonance. The music also has a ritualistic sounding vibe as well. I don’t think I’ve heard percussion music quite as diverse and compelling as this. Certainly Metal Moves are/is in a world of their own creation. Consistently marvelous! – Bruce Lee Gallanter, BMG CD $14


Acoustic landscapes to an imaginary movie”
Jazz Podium 11/2013

Sparkling and shimmering, harp and dulcimer cascading over gong and psaltery tones. A delicate dance-like melody ensues, metamorphosing into a more complex improvised section. Harp notes hover between brilliant gongs and cymbals, borne along by a velvety bass drum When Nadia Birkenstock and Steve Hubback weave their tonal fabric, they create soundscapes in which you can fully immerse yourself because there is so much to see and hear. The new album combines celtic harp and vocals with gongs, cymbals, hammered dulcimer and percussion. 16 Tracks including traditional celtic music and original compositions, wrapped up in a beautiful digipack, lyrics included.