The Press About "SIFT ":
-"On the Blast 4tet's 2008 release, Sift, the band generally continues along the same path as 2003's Altrastrata; both discs were released by ReR after Blast spent much of the '90s on Cuneiform, and Sift and Altrastrata feature the same Dutch/Swiss/Italian lineup as well . The ReR Blast and Cuneiform Blast are somewhat different beasts, or at least the ReR Blast 4tet outfit stands in marked contrast to the group heard on its final Cuneiform album, 1999's A Sophisticated Face. Some found Face to be a bit excessive -- given its Rock in Opposition flavors writ large by a comparatively massive eight-piece ensemble -- and preferred the grittier and noisier, more immediate sounds of Altrastrata's four-piece unit. Altrastrata also featured a relatively high degree of improvisation (and even electro-acoustics), a trend that continued on 2007's As Nowhere as Anywhere, a completely improvised endeavor released by FMR. The path beginning in composition and ending in improvisation is well trodden in many avant-garde musicians' histories and, given Blast's 1999 to 2007 trajectory, fans of the group's Cuneiform records -- which arguably represented that label's "rehearsal intensive" orthodoxy -- might have sensed that improv would henceforth rule the day. Well, not so fast. On Sift, in-the-moment and composed approaches are nicely balanced, while retaining Altrastrata's sense of roughness and immediacy. At a bit over 43 minutes in length, Sift is nearly ten minutes shorter than Altrastrata and jumps back and forth between three long explorative pieces in the ten- to 13-minute range and two comparatively short and focused numbers of about four minutes each. Taken as a whole, Sift is a strong outing: a Blast from the past, present, and future that just might satisfy and unify the band's fans from whatever era -- and keep them anticipating what might be next. (D.Lynch/Allmusic.com, august 2009)"
-"Réintitulé BLAST QUARTET, le quatuor suisse-italo-batave nous délivre un nouvel opus de ce savant mélange de rock et de compositions contemporaines dont il est le spécialiste contre vents et marées depuis plus de deux décennies. Polyrythmies, contrepoint atonal, frises pointillistes, il devient carrément impossible de distinguer la part compositionnelle de celle improvisée tant les liens ont été tressés serrés. Exige une écoute attentive qui se verra récompensée au centuple. (B.Meillier,Orkhestra /FR., june 2009)"
-"Blast continues with their own distinctive brand of progressive/jazz/rock quirkiness. Each member of the quartet contributes at least one piece. The title piece is first and it is a tight blast of complex quick changing layered counterpoint. In some ways it sounds as if it were influenced by that unique Beefheartian herkyjerkiness, yet there is much more going on as it constantly shifts between gears and tightly written connections. Towards the end of this piece I can hear some Zappa or other similar modern classical influences. "Cklack" starts with a twisted alien funk sort of groove yet it is filled with tight unexpected twists and turns. I dig the way their drummer, Mr. Spera, is at the center of "Fluke" while the bari sax, guitar and bass spin intricate circles around him, speeding up as they go and eventually slowing down to a spacious, suspense filled conclusion, again ending with some odd alien sorta funk. Another thing that stands out throughout this entire disc is the consistently sophisticated harmonies that the saxes and guitar play. On the final piece, "Pole" (written by the drummer) Italian composer Elio Martusciello is added on electronics, which adds some strange sonic twists to their sound. The piece almost sounds conducted as it shifts quickly or starts and stops and changes into something else. It does sounds as if it is a completely different band, more of a modern classical electro-acoustic ensemble. Perhaps it is a strange way to bring this disc to a close but it does help to calm things down after a most exuberant set of Blast's crafty music before the final piece. (Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery, NYC/USA, august 2009)"
-"Ooooh... It had been a while since the last CD I heard from this Dutch band who, in the 90s, were Europes answer to Miriodor. "Sift" is a very good album of rock-in-opposition: complex, whimsical chamber rock thats both entertaining and thoughtful. Each group member contributes at least one composition, and Elio Martusciello has a guest appearance (he used to be in the electroacoustic group Ossatura with Spera). A nice surprise, from a group that remains cutting-edge. (F.Couture, Monsieur Délire / FR., september 2009)"
-"Sift (ReR, 2009) was recorded by the Dutch-Italian-Swiss quartet and was basically structured around three lengthy suites. Sift exhibited the hiccupping and jagged structure of post-rock scores. Fluke sounds more organic, thanks to a syncopatic exotic-tinged rhythm and to a minimalist-repetitive section that is coordinated by a metronome-like guitar. Pole is another harsh statement of counter-counterpoint, neurotic repetition and anticlimatic pauses. A lot of tension and drama is execuded by this line-up of Blast. (P.Scaruffi, Scaruffi.com
, oktober 2009)"
-"What a catalogue of changing styles, yet remaining the same. On this, their latest release "Sift" - this is a true combination of avant stylings born through improvisation creating the composition. If you don't like avant guard, in it's truest form (Henry Cow's experimental side for instance) then this isn't the one for you. BUT! if you can listen - and I mean, sit and listen - this is beautifully crafted music. Without stepping on toe's here, this is REAL avant, not a prog band just letting loose, freeform meandering. No, this is composed through improvisation music at its highest form. The sectional playing (drums/bass) are phenomenal, and the melodic dissonance superb. As some of you know, I have my own prog group, and even though I love the traditional progressive rock (of which my music is) - this is the other path - and one that needs to be taken more seriously - RIO at its finest. (tmay, Progarchives.com
, Oktober 2009)