Maximo Ricci - 'Touching Extremes' - ouviu e escreveu:
«This is the Creative Sources release number 100. An historic goal reached by such a small label, therefore worth of a serious celebration. That’s why Ernesto Rodrigues prepared this triple CD featuring the VGO, a marauding multi-timbral collective comprising several among the finest Portuguese (and not only that) avant-garde artists, all able to grace our ears with their ability of performing impromptu. Among the many, Sei Miguel, Fala Mariam, Johannes Krieger, Nuno Rebelo, Carlos Santos, Rafael Toral, Alípio C. Neto. Rodrigues himself describes the conducting procedures as “balancing the sound masses that travel in the acoustic space, dictating the construction of the real-time composition, and thus revealing the organized juxtaposition of specific instruments as mobile sound groups”. The five lengthy tracks were recorded live (in Lisbon and Barreiro) in different settings - art galleries to festivals to jazz stores. Rather than swallowing an impossible “regular” review, take a look at the notes that this writer jotted down in reaction to the sounds heard, just to have vague indications of what’s contained in this boiler.
First disc: a single cut of about 54 minutes, no muteness at all, many moments of gradually growing tension without looking back, lots of instrumental muscularity, dynamics tending to the “fortissimo” in the final fraction of the piece, where the majority of the players literally screams. Distant similarities: “Strings with Evan Parker”, Centipede’s “Septober Energy”. Tendency to a magmatic chaos, sometimes morphing into semi-structured libertarianism, but the musical flux remains concentrated in well determined batches of timbres and interrelations. Appreciable balance between electric and acoustic instrumental tinctures.
Second disc: additional prominence is often given to the “brass section”, the improvisational ebb and flow making the whole sound even less organized; calm appears every once in a while, the musicians apparently taking a little break in the battlefield before deploying the next attack strategies. A little bit more “experimental” in terms of general sonority, with no promise of good behaviour from anyone. Pluck and hit techniques are applied sparsely amidst the different families of instruments. Lots of electronic interferences coming and going. Delirious accordion dissonance. Not always ear-pleasing, yet perennially stimulating materials.
Third disc: starting with a throbbing pulse, the group reaches for the highest level of liberation, often bordering on sheer confusion. This time, strings, brass and electronics search for a common denominator that in other places had been difficult to imagine, finding it in a mixture of raging exhalation and pulverizing power. No one suffers in silence, everybody sticks to the amalgamation of happiness and excitement that the occasion generated. This is probably the most “freewheeling” segment of the set, and Rodrigues’ hasty “obrigado” at the end of the record looks like an excuse to cut short something that could have gone on for a whole night.
If all of the above wasn’t clear enough, we’re talking about a great album. Besides the CS cognoscenti, also fans of Emanem’s aesthetics should lend an ear or two. Conducted improvisation at a high level of maturity, still vibrating enough to keep listeners wide awake».