Dirk Serries swift return to the label has been commissioned precisely because it shows a unique and fascinating journey in the genesis of a trio. Through a series of recordings, firstly in duos, Serries and his companions begin to craft their musical relationship with one another, developing a language of expression and interaction fundamental in informing how they eventually behave as a trio. All 3 musicians met during an improvised session at the Citadelic Festival in 2015, having previously played in a quintet formation in the drone collective Residuum Free Unit. The music on this double cassette release is, however, markedly different. Dirk’s first sparring partner is saxophonist Jan Daelman, mangling his horn with a ferocious series of barks, squeals and wounded minor-pentatonic riffing that could be mistaken for the sax’s dying gasps. Serrie’s parries and jousts against the raging horn, bending and scraping his strings into a scree-ing dissonance, pointillistic in its throaty, detuned savagery. It’s exhaustive and exhilarating at the same time, easy to make the assumption that by the tracks end, both players were drenched in sweat and viscera. It’s the continual aural beating of the first side that really enhances the strange, eldritch beauty of Dirk’s following duo with Pianist Thijs Troch. This whole side creaks with a detectable malice, Troch’s prepared piano thudding out whispers of notes and clunks of deep resonant shadows which Serries mirrors uncannily with percussive guitar. The rare moments they link together melodically shower the darkness with a glittering, bewitching beauty. Recorded live at jazzclub De Singer, the trio side is comparatively the most introspective and harmonic of the groups works, as if the process of refining their sound had reached the apex at this performance. Daelman here switches to a flute and baby violin and ushers in many of the dramatic set pieces throughout the set. Utterly cinematic, the music blossoms into an automatic film score, deeply spacious and haunted by a wondrous atmosphere that calls to mind Toru Takemitsu’s coldest cinema work. The final side, Serries revives his Fears Falls Burning moniker to create a wholly new piece from these triptych of recordings, one that curdles with a gaseous and ghostly menace and whose subtle rise in intensity reflects the journey of the trio, albeit reconfigured into a an electroacoustic sound painting. These four sides detail how relationships within music develop, how sound is sculpted and refined over time and shows a unique perspective on Dirk Serries re-emergence a prominent figure in the European free music scene, creating some of his most refined and delicate work to date with two young players whom we a sure to hear much more from.