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“Trombone and "acoustic objects", a single live track, and a very rewarding one. Forge sticks largely to breath tones and other non-trombonely sounds while Toulemonde excites objects in a largely unquantifiable manner, though one guess at some things like rolled marbles. It all works wonderfully. It's interesting, listening to four releases like these that have a certain amount in common, which ones work better (for different reasons) and trying to quantify why this is so. As ever, it comes back to the sensitivity of the musicians involved and how that matches up to the listener's own. In the case of "Pie 'n' Mash", the unusual thing for this  listener's proclivities is that the music is at once quite active, even intensely so, yet never feels busy or rushed, as though that particular level of percolation fits perfectly and naturally. It's fairly quiet and not at all strident, which helps. There's also, as I find to be the case with much music in this general area that I end up enjoying, a real sense of air around the sounds, a depth to them, as when Forge's airy blasts whoosh through the aural space, from back to front while Toulemonde's skitterings weave on a diagonal between them. Well, that's the best I can do, anyway. Strong recording.”        

                                                                                                                           Brian Olewnick, Just Outside

“The fourth and last in the recent Duos with Brass series of releases on the Another Timbre label, a series that has so far produced a number of heartily enjoyable acoustic improv recordings. This one comes from the French duo of Matthias Forge (trombone) and Olivier Toulemonde (acoustic objects) and revels in the gloriously un-French title Pie ‘n’ Mash, but then given that this music was recorded early this year in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England perhaps the title isn’t a surprise ;)

I have always really enjoyed the music of Matthias Forge, both on the occasions I have seen him live and on the few CDs I have heard. His trombone playing, which is mostly noteless and yet somehow extends beyond mere hisses and splutters into sudden explosions and semi-percussive moments is full of life and energy. I know Olivier Toulemonde’s playing less well, but here he combines superbly with Forge. The duo seem a perfect match for each other. Exactly what the acoustic objects are that he plays I am not certain, but there are plenty of scrapes and rattles of a metallic nature, some bowed sounds and the unmistakeable sound of a small ball bearing spinning in some kind of circular metal lid. the single thirty-nine minute piece here is generally quite quiet and subdued, but also bursts into little patches of frenetic activity where the two sets of sounds blur into each other, scratches and pops and fizzes all mingling together. At its best moments the music sounds like the results of a pig snuffling and snorting its way around a contact mic buried in a scrap metal yard… there is a lot of chirpy playfulness and real pleasure to be heard in this music.”                                                         Richard Pinnell, The Watchful Ear

Although entirely acoustic, the bright, very ‘present’ nature of the (excellent) recording lends the sounds an almost electronic edge. Gently escaping breath from the trombone sounds like a detuned radio hissing quietly to itself, other sharp percussive swoops and crashes sound amplified, unidentifiable but somehow it all works. Everything folds together into a crunchy, immediate sonic sculpture that feels alive, twisting and turning, airy and spacious and yet vibrant. Pie ‘n’ Mash is a really fine thirty-nine minutes of improvised music, well worthy of its place in this series of releases, and the kind of joyfully direct and expressive music that brightens up days like today.I don't think I heard of Mathias Forge before, but he plays trombone here on this release. He teams up with Olivier Toulemonde, who plays a variety of acoustic objects. This is the one where we probably regret there is no video registration, since it would be great to see what this would look like. Toulemonde skipped the electronics of his earlier work, and just uses amplification in what is a great, refined work of silent music. At times it's difficult to recognize who is doing what here, but throughout the trombone is to be spotted well. A fine blend of electro-acoustic music and improvisation, again with some emphasis on 'silence as an instrument'.  Four fine duos!"        

                                                                                                                       Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly

“Finally two young French musicians (hurrah!) combine on the fourth disc in the series. I know Olivier Toulemonde (acoustic objects) from a trio with Michel Doneda and Nicolas Desmarcheliers, but here he is accompanied by Mathias Forge, trombonist and member of the MICRO collective (musique improvisée en côte roannaise) and, as his CV tells us, a descendant of a long lineage of woodcutters. From the first « sshhtoiiiing ! », you can't help trying to imagine the apparatus involved. It could be threaded rods, springs, balls, bowls, steel wool and other utensils in contact with a vibrating surface, rather like ingredients being cooked in teppanyaki style. There is a clear preponderance of metal objects, and a bow is also used to draw out groans and other sounds. As for the trombone, you hear hissing, humming, coughing, blathering, all executed with great skill and some strident sounds you might expect from a carpentry shop or a maze of pipes used in fluid mechanics. On many occasions the contributions of the two musicians comingle, as when, for example, a cloud of white noise arises that could be either formed in the bell of the trombone or come out a shortwave radio. There is plenty of movement, but without any unnecessary gestures. In the bat of an eyelid we go from chaos to control and back, as when a scraping trowel threatens to break a contemplative pause, or the passage about 15 minutes in when the pace stops suddenly and passion dissolves into serenity. Perhaps this flow without any dead time is explained partly by the fact that this very coherent 38 minutes is actually the result of the (skilful and imperceptible) editing of two performances, one with an audience, the other not."                                                                                                 Jean-Claude Gevrey, scala tympani

“In concert, the duo of Mathias Forge and Olivier Toulemonde are great fun, putting on an impressive show. This is largely because Toulemonde, who previously played flute, saxophone and electronics, now manipulates an extraordinary array of purely acoustic objects including a resonant trestle table, whisks, bowls, plates, marbles, Styrofoam and a bow—like some hybrid between a conjuror and a deranged chef. (Maybe that explains the album title, the name of an English "delicacy.") This recording faithfully reflects the diversity of sounds that he generates with his objects including assorted scrapings and resonances. (Harking back to  past releases on Another Timbre, Toulemonde is truly in the footsteps of the great Hugh Davies.)

In amongst all this, though, let us not lose sight of the brass component, Forge's trombone. As the video footage below shows, Forge finds plenty of space for his trombone in amongst Toulemende's performance. His breathy playing, with occasional use of mutes, does not try to compete with Toulemonde, instead adopting a complementary role. In fact, some of his sounds are highly relevant to the culinary theme, sounding like sizzling food or steaming pans boiling over. The end result is a sound sculpture or piece of performance art which stands up well on its own as a recording, without any accompanying visuals.”         John Eyles,   All About Jazz

“Pie 'n' Mash is a single 39-minute track recorded in January 2010 in Sheffield, "with and without audience," meaning presumably that there's some post-production involved, though the music retains an immediacy and, dare I say, an organic quality to it (apologies if you're one of those curmudgeons who finds the term dated – it's a compliment in my book). Trombonist Mathias Forge is fond of pointed gestures, kisses and slurs, and evidently enjoys the challenge of playing with the fascinating Toulemonde, whose "acoustic objects" circle and scrape, their subtle inflections and details at times flirting with tonality even as instrumentalism is nowhere to be heard. In the opening minutes, details spring to life as Forge patiently sends up signals – a small tone here, a whine there – as if seeking a way of communicating with Toulemonde's multi-layered froth. This duo favors sharp changes of direction, at one point interacting violently like angry steam radiators or hissing predators before moving suddenly into a lovely passage with a top spinning on a table and focused plosives from Forge. The musicians are continually reconsidering the distance between them, as if it were a surface across which sounds are sent, either to fall into oblivion or spill into each other.”                                                                  Jason Bivins, Paris Transatlantic

at33         pie ‘n’ mash

Mathias Forge       trombone

Olivier Toulemonde    acoustic objects

recorded in Sheffield, January 2010

TT:  39:08

Youtube extract

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