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Prepare yourself for strange sounds. Mike Majkowski is a fixture of the Australian jazz and experimental sets; his weapon of choice is the double bass, and Ink On Paper, his debut solo release, is fifty five minutes of mind-bending experimentation for that instrument. ‘Where the hell is that noise coming from?’ and ‘How the hell is he doing it?’ are the questions music like this thrives on, and if that kind of listening experience doesn’t sound like fun to you, leave off. But for the listener receptive to new and strange sounds, Ink on Paper has something to offer. Each of the five tracks centres around a tone and a technical approach to the instrument – Pizzicato, for instance, features plucking – and such is the level of his technique, Majkowski’s bass is almost unrecognisable between tracks. Sometimes it sounds like strings, other times it sounds like feedback, or brass, or birds, or furniture being moved; mind-boggling sounds. The recording suits this project perfectly, putting the instrument and its player in the foreground. Excluding the title track, there are no overdubs, and no effects either. It’s just Mike in the room, scratching away at his instrument, coaxing it, hitting it, and occasionally accompanying himself with some vocal work. A confident debut, and a rewarding, if often disturbing, listen.

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